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Christmas Cheer

Holiday stress is for overachievers.

Before our Thanksgiving turkey was even digested, we had our Christmas decorations up. With gravy still on our chins, we strung up the lights and smeared Christmas all over the house. Once we were done, we rubbed our still-full bellies and delighted in our work.

Is it just me? This year, I feel so determined to jack up the Christmas cheer. This world needs some freaking Christmas cheer! The spirit of giving, the merry-merry, the peace on earth!

Since my husband says I can’t go caroling from door to door (he thinks it’s “creepy” for 41 year olds to carol), what else can I do to make this December the merriest?

Be present. (I won’t mention the clever Christmas “present” homophone here because that would be completely annoying). Homophones aside, I want to soak in the holiday moments like a spongey fruitcake. Whatever I’m doing, I want to be all in. I want to notice the details, pay attention, engage, feel, and listen. I want to plop myself squarely in whatever Yuletide moment presents itself.

In other words, I want to really taste that legendary, lumpy fruitcake and feel its solid heftiness chugging slowly down my esophagus. I want to roll the figgy pudding around in my mouth like a fine wine. This is mindfulness at its best.

But seriously, I want to put the phone down and stop my shopping-feast long enough to enjoy my people. I want to loosen my white-knuckled grip on my to-do list to appreciate the fruits of all my to-do-ing. This year, I want to actually watch Elf with the kiddos instead of using that time to catch up on (completely non-festive) toilet cleaning.

Holiday stress is for overachievers. This year, I want to underachieve! Instead of running around like a maniacal elf creating over-the-top moments, I want to sop up the little moments. The look on her face, the sound of his laugh, the shimmer of Christmas lights, the age-old magic of Christmas Eve. I want to look around the room at family and friends and let my heart burst with gratitude.

Let’s do this. Let’s be present. I’m going to take it day by day, moment by moment. Everything that needs to get done will get done. As it has for billions of years, the magic will take care of itself.

In the meantime, I’m going to go whip up a batch of figgy pudding and maybe do some creepy caroling too. After all, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.



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