Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Outline for a Happy Holiday; Simple

5:15 on a Saturday morning, me having a cup of tea with you and writing, is my full-blown, Olaf-style happy place. The mittens I am going to work on in a little while are in that space as well. On the first Saturday in December? With so much to do and so little time? What in the world?

Something dawned on me the other day;

Making the home one in which we all feel the love, and the space for happiness, was the real job of pre-Christmas prep. You cannot do that when you are prioritizing every single outside activity and inner obligation. The math does not work. 

Advent implies expectant waiting, it means, literally; arrival or coming, and the thing that is coming toward us in the month leading up to Christmas, can look either menacing or welcome.

I have dropped the need to make everything picture-perfect this season. I do not plan on picking that mess back up off the floor. It is a thermometer of mercury, heated to boil, breaking and now scattered, rolling under furniture, out doors and away. 

I am going for peace, because perfection is a stress-bomb in the making. Peace is up to me and the rest is not. There will be food and gifts, yes, lucky us! And there is a real tree standing, as yet, unadorned, in the middle of the sunroom smelling like pine, the manger and its inhabitants have settled onto the usual table. But as to the rest, it can take its time. I am doing what makes the season happy, and finding harmony is at the top of my list.

A number of "must-dos" have been crossed off early, and it helps. However, a much larger number of "usual should-dos" have been eliminated. It will be a busy month, but the busy will be of our choosing and not imposed by what I think I should be doing.

Last night we got out and enjoyed the Christmas walk downtown among the small, local shops. The weather was right (you know; "winter-right", hovering around 30 F), and the lights were beautiful. It was the first time I had gone in years and years, a pity. The Christmas walks of my childhood, in the historic district and at the Ham House in Dubuque, were my favorite outings of all.

Today I am headed to Des Moines to celebrate 50 years of life, 43 of friendship, with a friend, because it is important; to her, to me. Life is looking well-lived  and as precious as it truly is. Happiness is right here. 

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