Here we are, smack in the middle of the holiday season, and I’m waffling on how much good cheer I plan to spread. Too much will spread me too thin, and too little will make me feel crusty and crotchety. I’ve already told my kids that I don’t feel like buying a tree this year. “Jeez, mom, why not just cancel Christmas?” my daughter said.
See? There’s pressure everywhere to be jolly and generous, to shine brightly, to bake and shop and make polite chitchat. It’s the time of year for white elephants—the kind that come in wrapping paper or as 2-ton grievances that crush the joy out of family gatherings.
I know you’re waffling with me. Even the weather in Chicago can’t decide what it wants to do. And speaking of weather and nature, I’ll repeat what I say every year: that December is a time of darkness, retreat, introspection, rest and letting go. Our bodies know this, even when our social calendars don’t reflect it.
I’ve seen this conflict show itself in sickness. Colds and flu have circled through my household more than once the last few weeks, and just about everyone I know has been afflicted too. Listening to one friend express frustration at “the longest flu I’ve ever had” made me recall the last time I was cheated by illness during what was supposed to be a special time.
It seemed appropriate to share that blog again today. Somewhere in there lives the spirit of gratitude, which is actually all that’s required for a happy holiday.
Find it here: