At our last staff meeting of the year one of the senior staff made a wonderful speech about how much she appreciated the team. It wasn't Bill Clinton, but it was genuine and heartfelt. It beat any other Christmas greeting this year.
In the holiday madness and stress so much gets lost. Not necessarily the spiritual or religious aspect (although, if that is important to you I can see the reason for the lamentation), but the important bits that make the holidays special. We get caught up in shopping, wrapping, baking, visiting, partying, making, and decorating. We give ourselves so much stress to get things done.
I'll be honest, and you can hate me now, I gave up on that years ago. What gets done gets done. This goes for shopping, baking, decorating, everything. And I can honestly say that I am happier for it. It is almost zen like. If I feel like baking, I do. If I feel like making a gift, I do. If I don't feel like shopping, I won't go.
Hubby and I decided years ago what are the important things to us. We make sure to do those things and if nothing else happens then so be it. So, for us, it means going out to chop our tree. It means Christmas morning piled into bed - all together - for presents and Christmas Tree Bun. It means visiting with friends over ice skating or tobagganing. I can do without Christmas cards, turkey dinner, and even gifts.
Today we chopped down our tree and we will decorate it tonight. I can't wait to see the Monster's eyes when she sees it all lit up. Santa dropped off his gifts for her early so all that is left is to stuff her quilted stocking. I have to make the Christmas Tree Bun and honey butter still, but if we order chinese for dinner that works just fine.
I know, it seems hard to break the expectations of family, friends, society, and ourselves. But think about how much more welcome a card for Valentine's Day would be over one of many at Christmas. Think about the relaxed gathering of friends you could have at the end of January when the rush is over and people are ready to socialize again. All people really need to know is that you think about them and care. A well placed hug and some kind words are the best present at any time of year. Thinking of you all.