December prep

Ah, the Monday after Thanksgiving, with a short stretch between now and Christmas to fill with holiday joys, obligations, to dos, card writing, baking, and, oh yes, the routine work that keeps bills paid and life flowing. It will be a short month! I’m feeling excited and overwhelmed: I have a simultaneous desire to get creative with holiday crafting and shopping, and a need to postpone…to say “not yet!

So, in time-honored fashion, I choose to postpone one task with another. I’m spending a day in between: we’re traveling back to Alaska tomorrow, so I have a day before the madness begins. Today I’ve given to lunch with my husband and a family dinner with our son; to pausing before the holiday rush to gather myself; to organize my lists and review finances; to remind myself that just like every other holiday season of my life, this one won’t be perfect, but it can be wonderful; and to breathe deep and sit still, listen to some holiday music, drink some hot tea.

I’m contemplating resolutions, and my word to encapsulate the coming year. I’m setting the tone, right now. I’m imagining how I want these holidays to be celebrated. I’m planning. Because the truth is, the gifts will be bought and cards written, work accomplished. But I’m setting the attitude behind all of it now. I can go through the next few weeks harried and rushed and get the job done. Or I can choose to look for the humor, feel the joy, smile even when I’m frustrated, remember to breathe. I know the days will be long and the hours short. But I want the good stuff to shine through.

Christmas and holidays are so easily derailed…the expectations, the images that we have to live up to dance across our television screens and in store displays. But I’ve found that there are better things than gifts, and perfect tables, perfect meals. The secret is service. I look for ways to serve, and I am filled. I look for people to serve, and I am found.

“I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy.”  ~ Kahlil Gibran

10 thoughts on “December prep

    • Actually, we have had a snowfall or two, but the thing about this part of Alaska is that it is really more temperate. We don’t get the extreme cold that most of the state experiences. It has warmed up and rained away the snow that had fallen, so we’re back to just wet, instead of white! We’ve had a couple of white Christmases here since 2009, the year we moved here, but you never know!

      And yes, working through my list! Hope yours is going well also! We’ve almost reached the “now or never” stage! ~ Sheila


  1. I finally feel more in control than I ever have…Letting Christmas be the small simple things that make me happy…
    I chose the word “simple” for 2013…and have lived it …I will feel sad to let it go for a new word… because it has benefited me in so many ways…
    I think I will choose a different one…but, keep “simple ” as it is embedded in me…I’ve tried to do things in small stages…not to overwhelm me from shopping…wrapping…baking…outside get-togethers…Preparing what I can ahead of time…
    I’m ever so grateful for the word I chose last January…Maybe it would work for you…
    My favorite quote…”Do Not Make Simple Things Complicated!”


    • Hey, glad you found a word that resonated with you all year long! I was thinking about what word I would choose for my inspiration for 2014…haven’t decided yet! Have to get through the next few days…maybe then I’ll have some time to sort that out! I have simplified a lot of things…don’t send as many cards, and I do minimal decorating if we are going to be out of town for Christmas, which we are this year. Still, things just seem to get a little more crazy this time of year. But being thoughtful about what I say “yes” to helps! Glad you’ve figured out what works for you! ~ Sheila


  2. love these words “remind myself that just like every other holiday season of my life, this one won’t be perfect, but it can be wonderful; and to breathe deep and sit still, listen to some holiday music, drink some hot tea.:
    and your message


    • Thank you! I begin with this goal every year…somehow the extras get piled on anyway! But at least when I go into this season with the intent to focus on the “right” stuff, I’m better prepared. Just so easy to be caught up in the busyness of it all. And that’s a trap I’ve fallen into far too often! Here’s hoping for less stress and more joy this year! And to you as well! ~ Sheila


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