“Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter….”
– (By Clement Clarke Moore)
Just what IS the matter? For some reason something is the matter with this Christmas. I am comparing it in my mind to the perfect Christmases of the past with all that I did to make it that way for my family. I am thinking of memories of all of my loved ones that are no longer with us to make Christmas special. It just does not feel like it is “supposed” to feel. It feels like an “in between” Christmas.
I think of this busy week wondering where it went and feeling a bit anxious now that very little time is left to provide the “perfect” gift to each loved one or to secure the right items needed to make that “favorite” dish for Christmas day. Here I am already exhausted and all I can do is think about how messy my house is, how disorganized my thoughts are, and feeling guilty that I do not even have my stockings up on the hearth, much less no Christmas tree in sight. What happened this year? Each year Christmas seems to get smaller and smaller and I get less connected with the Christmas spirit.
Is it just another off year? Is it because of this weird spring-like weather? Or is it just the stage of life that I am going through? I think the latter…as I am now 55, working fulltime in a very rewarding and demanding career, no children at home, no grandchildren, no major commitments of my time outside work. I realize that I am actually relieved to not have to rush around and decorate or make cookies or attend lots of events. Hmmmm….. Maybe this is my season to rest from the hub bub and NOT try to get everything perfect! Sort of like a holiday within the holidays? I deserve some relaxation and some peace at this point in my busy life. So I give myself permission to be still, just simplify and be ok with reading in bed right now. After all, I gave many years of wonderfully perfect Christmases to my kids and have experienced many wonderful memories with parents, grandparents and my dear sister who have all gone to be with the Lord. To top it off I actually have these memories recorded in some fabulous Christmas Creative Memories photo albums!
So ENJOY! Now is the time to rest…new things will come in the future. I tell myself that this is OK and peace is mine!
If you think you are not having or doing the most perfect Christmas of all, just pull out the memory book, ask your family to close their eyes and remember….and give yourself grace and rest. If you have reached a time in your life that seems to be “in between” just ENJOY! Maybe this really is the most peaceful Christmas of all…not having to do anything I do not want to!!