The holidays always come as a bit of a shock to me. I don’t understand why, because they fall on the same day every year, but every year around this time I look at my calendar and realize that I have 8 days to buy, wrap and send presents to the people I love most. I also have to buy outfits for Holiday parties, Christmas Eve, New Years Eve – and right after that is my birth month (yes, I celebrate for a whole month).
While I love Christmas, New Years’, my birthday, and of course every party I attend, I sometimes think that while I’m so busy preparing for these events, I miss about 20 days that I could be appreciating the holidays too.
And I’m not talking about the red cups or the mistletoe.
I’m talking about using the time to spend time making memories that will last longer than the toy Legos that I’m buying #natethegreat and all the other presents I haven’t yet bought for my billions of brothers and sisters and the rest of my family. I might even get the dogs something (that’s a joke… I’m broke – I’ll probably just slip them food under the table. Sorry dad).
It’s the time that I’ve spent bundling up in over-sized coats and freezing my way down Candy Cane Lane with my best friends looking at the lights and wondering how much each house’s electricity bill for the month will be.
It’s the time that I tell my siblings that Santa is going to bring them coal just because I can and watching them freak out because they have no idea what to do with coal.
It’s the smell that the house is filled with when my grandma makes her cherry pies and laughing as she makes one mincemeat pie that ABSOLUTELY no one in the family will ever eat but her because it’s gross.
It’s lighting candles in church while singing Silent Night and relishing in the peacefulness.
When Christmas comes around, everyone’s cheeks get a little rosier, they feel a little bit jollier and there’s an overwhelming need to spread the cheer.
The Grinch’s heart grew three sizes that day he realized that Christmas cheer wasn’t bought in a store – and I swear that every Christmas season, it takes me UP until Christmas for my heart to grow three sizes, because I spend the prior 24 days in stores trying to find the absolute right present, that if I’m honest, won’t be around in 5 years.
This year, I’ve made it a point to have my heart grow three sizes BEFORE Christmas. Which is a hard task seeing that I still haven’t bought any presents and my bank statement is sadder than trying to make a snowman out of hail.
But, instead of bustling about from store to store and holiday party to holiday party, I’m going to make it my task to be present every day from now until Christmas and even after and keep the cheer all year round.
I’ll be home, and completely present, for Christmas this year. And I hope you will too.