For me, the holiday season brings an internal shift that feels comforting and whole. Perhaps it's the excitement of getting to see family and loved ones that I only see a few times a year; maybe it's the cooler weather accompanied by hot cocoa and sweet baked goods; it could be the holiday music with it's familiar tune; or the general spirit of giving. Yes, it's probably all these things combined.
I understand that for many, the holidays can be a time of contention, with endless shopping lists, to do's, necessary engagements, etc. etc. But, while not always possible for everyone, this is why I have made it a point to keep this time of year simple.
Some may perceive my lack of Christmas decorations as Scrooge-like...my neglect to buy a tree blasphemy. And the passionate shoppers may not understand how I can avoid going to a mall at all this Christmas season.
But those aren't the things that bring me joy.
I find peace in sitting by the fire at my dad's house and reading a good book, or making cookies with my cousins and aunts (a family tradition...which ultimately involves hysterical laughter at some rather riské creations). I'm looking forward to the puffy white of the midwest winters, that gift of snow which graces the trees and smooths the lake for cross country skiing. There's something soothing about the slow and steady accumulation of small gifts that include mostly hand-made, local products from the farmer's market becuase while I buy my gifts, I know that money will make another's Christmas a little brighter. And I take pleasure in tiny creations, like these Christmas cards that may have flaws, but are made with care.
I'll admit, it's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season. But each year I become better at finding calm in the present (moment not gift), being focused on family more than things, and being at peace with what I have accomplished this year- great or small.