Tis A Gift To Be Simple
As the days get shorter and the weather turns colder, this is normally the time of year I start to feel a twinge of anxiety. When the grocery store starts trying to foist their free turkey on me and the front of the hardware store is filled with Christmas decorations before Halloween even hits, that twinge grows into a sense of almost dread.
I feel Grinchy even saying that, because for the most part, I really do feel like the holidays themselves truly are “the most wonderful time of the year.” I treasure the traditions, the time with family, the food, the fun. But it’s the crazed frenzy to get ready for the holidays that feels a little less than wonderful to me. I’ve written about that stress before, right here in this blog.
Well, like just about everything else in 2020, the holidays this year are going to look a lot different than what we’re used to. As I write this, I’m still not sure exactly what they will look like for our family, but I can tell you what they will NOT look like. There won’t be fancy Christmas parties to buy new outfits for, office parties to attend (or host), Secret Santa gifts to buy, big holiday meals that require moving extra tables and chairs into the dining room to accommodate super-extended family, Black Friday shopping sprees to crowded metro malls, taking kids to sit on Santa’s lap, Christmas caroling at nursing homes, or even overflowing candlelight Christmas Eve church services. I won’t be frantically trying to squeeze in baking and shopping and decorating in between working and entertaining and volunteering and visiting.
That’s just the way it has to be this year, and the way I see it, we can either lament everything we are missing, or we can embrace things the way they are. I’m choosing the latter. I’m going to look at this as a gift.
When my kids were in preschool, parents were invited to attend their Thanksgiving feast each year, in which the kids would put on a little program. It always included an old Shaker song, “Tis a gift to be simple, tis a gift to be free…” Well, much like George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life was given the gift of seeing what the world would have been like if he’d never been born, maybe this year could be our gift of seeing what life would be like if we learned to celebrate a little more simply.
So for this year, I plan to focus on making the holidays as beautiful and special within our little home cocoon as possible. I’m still going to get my house cleaned, decorate, cook special meals, fill the house with music, send cards, reach out to loved ones who we’ll be missing, and just celebrate everything on a smaller scale. When we are able to get back to normal (next year!?!), maybe we will appreciate all of the trappings of the holidays more than ever. Or maybe we will realize that we can actually permanently let go of some of the craziness. Either way – tis a gift!
By lifestyle blogger, Karen Walker. Check out her blog here.