Well, here we are. We’re officially in the Christmas season and, as always, it seems to fly by and catch us off guard to a certain degree. People everywhere are preparing in some fashion for this season – decorating a tree, stringing lights on the house, shopping for gifts, entertaining guests, feasting on seasonal delicacies and working extra hard to get time off and pay for the many expenditures. We all celebrate and prepare in different ways; many of us are anticipating with joy the influx of family gatherings and parties, while for others, this time is a difficult and complicated one. There is something about the waiting time before the big day on the 25th that can fill us with sentimentality, reminiscent of childhood’s delight. We recapture these sentiments with the delicious baked goods or savory treats that line the table. We hustle and bustle around stores that play Christmas jingles, while each of us tries to be cheery to other shoppers in our way. We even buy candles labeled “Pumpkin Spice” or “Christmas Sugar Cookie” to fill our houses to the brim with holiday atmosphere. But what happens when maybe we’ve lost that feeling of joy and simplicity? How do we get that back?

This may sound harsh, but we can’t ever really recapture childhood. We may search the world for ways to be “as a child” again, but it seems to elude us, leaving us feeling disappointed and searching once again. We look to changing traditions, adding more or new things and people to associate ourselves with. Or maybe we try so hard to do things right, we find ourselves frustrated and lashing out in anger at the very people we love most because we’re tired and spread too thin. Many people wiser than I would say that one of the most important ways to do this is to slow down. Haste and busyness are key factors to losing sight of the simplicity of Christmas. Though we may not all be organized people, per se, there is something wise in making things externally simpler so we can slow down a little more. Containers or boxes or crates that help temporarily organize and carry us through wrapping gifts, storing unwrapped gifts, or transporting goods and goodies from place to place is a wonderful way to be able to focus on the internal things at play. Why not give it a try?

Perhaps our focus and our expectations of the holidays is what really needs to change, instead of what we do, how we do it, and with whom we do it. Perhaps, just maybe, our attention should not be set on nostalgia alone, but on the invitation to reflect on who and what’s around us, as another year comes to a close.

Instead of adding this on your “to do list”, take time to let go of some things and make space for creativity and kindness. Find the “right” for your Christmas this year.

Anna Lewis / December 20, 2019