The holidays are going to seem a little different this year.
Our plans have had to change due to the pandemic, and the reality is setting in as to how vigilant we still need to be.
Last weekend we decided, as a family, that we were all going to stay put. Stiff regulations on how we can travel to other states as New Yorkers helped along the decision that we knew had to be made.
It was tough, and there had been much deliberation as the end of November started looming. Fortunately, we were all on the same page and knew the right choice to make.
Once the decision was made, I was able to change my mindset and am now embracing a different look to the holiday season. There will not be nearly as many old, familiar faces around the table or cousins in the background organizing a monster hide-and-seek game.
But … there will be time spent with our dear friends whom we love to pieces.
How blessed we are to have them. How blessed we are that they have taken us in. 🙂
Instead of cutting and stacking wood at the lake the day after Thanksgiving, we are going to cut our Christmas tree that we tagged this past weekend. We may even take a short hike afterward too.
Rather than figure out how I am going to keep pies intact as I trek to New Hampshire with three growing boys and a dog in the car, we are going to safely walk the pies one street over on Thanksgiving Day.
The kids and I are going to share our family tradition of “shrubs” to clear the pallet before the turkey dinner … and I am sure, be introduced to a couple of new traditions also.
We are going to thoughtfully put out our Christmas decorations, rather than throw them out in between school concerts, basketball practices and cooking dinner.
I am going to pull out my collection of Christmas sheet music and sit at the piano and play.
For once, I will be ahead on Christmas shopping. Instead of running around trying to get everything bought in December, I think I am going to be able to sit in front of the Christmas tree and think about how fun it is going to be to give in an unhurried way.
I am going to watch a few more Christmas movies with my kids and put my comfy socked feet up on the ottoman with a cup of hot chocolate, restfully instead of warily.
There will be no ugly sweater parties to attend, or baking for the teachers. Rushing out to buy a white shirt and black pants for the school’s holiday band concert will be obsolete. And I am okay with that.
Instead, I am going to enjoy my place of peace.
Scaling back, hunkering down and being present. More walks, more skiing, more time to actually enjoy.
And yesterday, when we went and tagged our Christmas tree, I paused and thought about what a glorious morning it was. Our agenda consisted of only one thing: to tag our tree. We went with our friends and we all completely enjoyed our walk in the old Christmas tree field — we were the only people there … it was quiet.
Happy. Content. A choice.
Sometimes that which comes wrapped as a curse, has a blessing hidden inside. Your choice is whether or not you are going to unwrap it and dig deep to the heart of the gift.
With great thankfulness,