Saturday, December 25, 2004

Christmas 2004

Holidays --- whatever your pleasure, I am sure there have been days (or years, or decades ..) of holiday stress falling at this time of year. Running around trying to meet all your expectations for the holidays, and meet everyone else’s, can easily become a fast moving treadmill where you never catch the carrot hanging just out of your reach. There are the years I have shopped, wrapped presents and mailed cards by December 1st. There are years when I am one of those Christmas eve shoppers and I fight the lines, crowds and low inventory trying to tie things up. There have been years when I mailed things too late and blamed the poor post office for the delay to save face.

I have long thought that it would be nice to pick a couple people from my list each month during the year and remember them in some special way that month . . . there by allowing me to cross them off my “end-of-year-how-can-I-do-it-all” list. I love to give, but the pressure of doing so for everyone I love and care about in a short season each year leaves me frazzled.

This year my Holiday cards only got partially sent – I think I made it up to the G’s in my address book. This year I will be out on December 24th finishing up a few last minute items. This year I will hit the post office on December 22nd in an effort to get one last package to its destination before the New Year. This year I had my annual holiday melt-down and took inventory of what is most important.

A few years ago I read an article that asked a person to change just one little word in the way they speak about the things that they feel they HAVE to do. It said to change the word “HAVE” to “GET”. Instead of “I have to bake (shop, visit, wrap, buy, etc..)” say “I GET to ….(bake, shop wrap, etc.)”.

As this season comes to a close I am reflecting on the things I felt that I HAD to do with a new outlook. I did not HAVE to buy gifts – I GOT to share my love and appreciation with friends and family through tiny tokens; tokens that do not even come close to reflecting what these people mean to me in my life.

I did not HAVE to visit people at this time of year – I GOT to see friends, near and far, who I may only get to see once a year. The Holidays are a reminder that I should not let another year end without touching base with these people I love from times past and present.

I did not HAVE to bake, or make trinkets for others. I GOT to give people a little glimpse of the child within me who still likes to do simple arts and crafts, or who loves to play with food.

I did not HAVE to make time to visit friends and family, nursing homes or hospitals – I GOT to see people at their best and worst and somewhere in between – and I GOT to remind them that I am here for them and still hold them dear in my heart.

Everyone I have met is a part of my life and in some way a part of who I have become. During the upcoming year I hope I GET more opportunities to let them all know just how much they mean to me in a variety of ways. I hope I GET more opportunities throughout the year to show them my concern, care and love for them – not just at the close of each calendar year. I hope I GET to add more friends and family into my life’s circle so that it, and I, expand in understanding and compassion. I do not HAVE to be grateful, but I am blessed that I have people and experiences in my life to grateful for – every day.


No comments: