Life has been a bit chaotic these past couple of weeks. Hasn’t it been for everyone? The hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, baking, parties, visitors and/or trips out-of-town can sour even little Cindy Lou Who’s kind heart when not kept “in check.” But, does stress have to be a holiday tradition as well?
Since Thanksgiving weekend, my older daughter has been sick. Her younger sister succumbed to the same gunk this past Monday. Though neither are small children anymore, a sick child still slows the pace around here. As one slowly starts to heal, the other has spent the last 3 days curled up in the recliner, buried under blankets, watching an endless stream of crime shows via Netflix. This wasn’t how I had planned to spend the start of our Christmas vacation. I had planned to “hit the ground running” on Monday. There was still much to be done in preparation for our Christmas celebration. I had looked forward to making sweet treats with my girls and anticipated their help with family cards. I wanted to crank up the Christmas music, attend a friend’s dance performance and play board games this week. I had planned on having the gifts all wrapped and piled under the tree before today, but they sit on the floor by my feet, still stashed in the plain brown boxes shipped by Amazon. This has not been the week I had planned.
And yet, something magical has happened this week. Between the doses of NyQuil and DayQuil, the barking coughs, and piles of discarded tissue, I let go of the pressure and the stress that was building in my schedule. And, in my mind. No, we wouldn’t make it to their friend’s dance performance or bake sweets for neighbors and friends. No, the house won’t be spotless before Santa climbs down the chimney and the cards may or may not make it out this year. (So far, it’s looking like they won’t.) And though not very festive, crime shows have replaced the holiday music I longed to hear as I moved through my cleaning chores. It was the illness of a child (or in this case, children) that forced me to slow down and just be; be with my children, be with my husband, be with myself and rediscover the joy of Christmas. And, for this, I am grateful.
Have you slowed down enough to rediscover the joy in your holiday season?
To help get you started, I share a photo of one of our regular visitors. Give yourself the gift of slowing down for just a moment, and wrap yourself in the joy of season.