27 November 2011

Light Steps During the Holidays

Entering the holiday season can mean a lot of deep breaths. Now, mind you, I actually really enjoy the holiday season, in theory: the food, lights, gatherings, sense of community and spirit.  We all band together to bring some light to the world just when it all seems about to go out.  I love candles, and green boughs, wrapping presents, and making things (cookies, mostly).  I love big hugs that celebrate just knowing someone for another year.  But, I also take a lot of deep breaths, because the holidays can, in fact, really make me stressed.

Every year, I am determined to deflect this sense of stress and doom.  Around the middle of October I began to strategize about how I am going to organize my holiday emotions into something productive.  I will figure out which presents go to which people.  I will make simple gifts that we can give to many.  I will send Christmas cards, on time, to everyone!   I will make lists! 

Yet, somehow, all these "wills" seem to lead instead to last-minute Christmas shopping, New Year's cards (during a good year), and food hangovers that last until Valentine's Day.  It is an ineffective strategy, at best.

So, this year I am taking another tack: I am going to try to follow the advice I would give to any client that presented me with this issue.  That is, I am going to relax.

I am going to stay open to the right moments for things like baking, making lists, and shopping.

I am not going to shame myself for not getting these things done.

I am going to look at the calendar and lightly plan for parties and other festive occasions.

I am going to smile.

Because, most of all, what I really want for Christmas this year is to simply feel good, to be relaxed, to enjoy the season, to have time for gazing and laughing and breathing in light.

How about you?

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