Friday, December 2, 2016

Simplifying Christmas

We had a calendar full of activities on Saturday. Watch the Ohio State/Michigan game with friends, get family pictures taken then go to our community's annual Christmas parade. I geared up for a busy day, not realizing that they would be completely derailed.

"Keith and Sandy canceled the football party," my husband said as we drank our coffee and looked through the Saturday paper. "I guess a bunch of people couldn't come." I was disappointed but also relieved to have our schedule let up a bit. I used the time to take a short nap and watch the game in sweatpants. 

Around 2, the photographer called. "Could you come a little bit earlier? Say 3:00? I had forgotten that we are shooting the Christmas parade tonight as well." I told him that two of the kids were sleeping so we probably couldn't move it up but maybe we could just reschedule. "Really? That would be so great," he said, sounding relieved. 
"Of course. No rush on our end," I said.

A few hours later, I started feeling a little off. I took my temperature and realized I had a fever. "Babe, you should just stay home," my husband suggested. "Luke and I will walk the parade with Sertoma. You just stay with Drew and Rosie and take it easy." And so we did. I made hot chocolate on the stovetop with cinnamon and Hershey's syrup like my mom used to do and we sipped it in our jammies. We watched Charlie Brown Christmas and then decided on a whim to take a walk in the dark to see the stars and look for Christmas lights. It was positively magical. 

As I tucked them in and kissed their pink cheeks, I felt so grateful for all the cancellations that made me slow down. Spending those few hours at home was like opening a beautiful and unexpected gift. It was everything I wanted the holidays to be for my children. Quiet, reflective and full of quality time. I will be shaving down our December schedule, saying no a little more often to the parties and yes to the Hallmark Channel's Christmas movies. I will be making popcorn garlands and ornaments with too much glitter and embracing this time when they still believe in the magic of Christmas. I will be intentionally thankful instead of rushed as I embrace the beauty of this season.

Is your December schedule already packed full of obligations? Take a moment to evaluate it and get rid of things that don't bring you and your family peace and joy. Simplify.

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