With Thanksgiving now over and Christmas soon approaching I can’t help but ponder the holiday season. I think back to when my children were fewer and younger, when naptimes, bickering, and temper tantrums kept me from enjoying festivities and adult conversation. I think forward to when those children (and the ones that have come since) will be grown, concerned more with their own friends and their own families, and less with what’s going on in my home. I lament the handmade stockings that I still haven’t finished, and the Christmas cookies that didn’t get made last year. I remember the evenings that slipped away without the advent calendar being attended to, and the decorations that never made it out of storage. I worry about the gifts I rarely have prepared for neighbors, friends, and teachers, and the grand Christmas card ideas that never materialize, and therefore don’t get sent out. Without fail, this ruminating leaves me feeling inadequate and unfulfilled. Why are my holidays not picture-perfect, rivaling those that I remember as a child?
Perhaps it’s because I’ve been too focused on my “to-do” list and not focused enough on my “to-be” list. Though difficult, I need to be accepting that I can't (and shouldn't) do everything that Pinterest would lead me to believe is necessary for a successful holiday. I need to be recentering my Christmas celebration on the Savior. I need to be more grateful for the blessings I’ve received, and more ready to express that gratitude to my Heavenly Father and to the people in my life who are those blessings. I need to be more present with friends and family, and my children, and less preoccupied with the lists that inevitably take up residence in my head.
So for this Christmas season I resolve to-be, rather than to-do. I will learn from the past, but I won’t dwell on recreating it. I will hope for the future, but won’t spend my days dreaming of the perfect holiday to come. Instead, I will spend this time immersed in each moment, enjoying the traditions of today with those that I love, and remembering with gratitude, the gift of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. To all of you I wish the same.
With love, Cecily