Tis the season for obligation: frantic buying of gifts, marathon cookie baking extravaganzas, visiting far away family, decorating with crazy lights and sending cards to others who were quicker than you and got a card in your mailbox by early December.
I'm not being cynical.. well, maybe I am. But I am tired this year. I am evaluating what I do, why I do it, and attempting to have a peaceful, guilt-free, authentic Christmas. What does that look like?
- I'm not buying gifts; I'm giving time and experiences with loved ones. The main gift for my kids this year will be a trip to Boston and NY in February so that I can be with both kids at the same time. The other gift, so sweetly requested by my son: "I just want your cookies and fudge, Mom."
- I have decided to visit my brother and his family, who live within a 2 hour drive, instead of the usual trek to So Cal relatives, that leaves me more exhausted at the end of vacation!
- I made my cards, and in doing so, felt the gift of myself and my creativity extended outward. I gave them to students and mailed out a small batch to those on my close friends and family list.
- Getting together for 1:1 socializing, doing something outside to rejuvenate. Today my friend is driving over to go on a sea glass hunt on the beach. It may be raining, but it will be fun to reconnect with her, hear the roar of the stormy sea and help her fulfill her passion of creating with sea glass.
- I am going to savor the brief time I have with my son, who is dividing his California visit time with family and friends. I could lament that he won't be with me long or just enjoy the time we do have, baking and having fun together. I am also going to remind myself to not feel sorry that I won't see my daughter but be proud of her; she who won't make it for Christmas because she is working at a group home, with kids who certainly need her presence and compassion more than I do!