This is the standard question wherever people gather as they go about their lives this time of year. And many times the answer is in the negative. People are worried about the economy and travel details. There are programs and parties and practices; some are dealing with recent loss of loved ones or the war has family members living afar. They have food to prepare, gifts to choose and wrap and mail...the whole Christmas season can be overwhelming.
There was a time when I, too, got caught up in the details of matching all the Christmas ornaments for the tree with the color of my child's hair ribbons and hand made Christmas dress. The food had to be JUST SO; the house had to look perfect; I thought I had to be perfect.
It will come as no surprise to those in my circle of influence to note that am not perfect. Nor is my house or my food or much of anything else in my life.
There may have been a period in my life when I fell prey to the famous gurus, slick magazine pages and savvy television ads who tout perfection in every aspect of the holiday observances when I did too much, slept too little, baked and ate too many holiday goodies, said 'yes' to too many commitments and cried buckets of tears over what I can't even remember now. Either I heeded my mother's advice or I matured or I just finally GOT IT.
In any case, I got over STUFF the way you get over the flu. Over time I have learned to shake my head in the negative and match that with a nice smile and firm "no, thank you" and I recognize the importance of relaxing and breathing! I don't get all worked up any more over decorating - after all, whatever you put up must be taken down and put away - and I surely do not bake and eat too many holiday goodies any more.
It's not that I am against any of the holiday traditions. It's more a matter of having learned to live within my own limitations.
We watched a wonderful program on TV about the lighting of a Christmas tree. It was very sweet and beautiful and timely. My husband and I looked at one another and I asked him if he had to have lights and music to put himself in the Christmas spirit. He just grinned at me. That grin said it all. He does not need stuff, or lights, or music or cookies to put him into a giving, loving, joyful mood. He lives that way every day of the year.
Well, now that I think about it, he may like to leave the Christmas goodies in place...
If you struggle with the stress and busy-ness of the holidays and you feel less than delighted by the whole season, you may want to scope out a helpful source of stress relief: The Healing Codes