Last night we sat in the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree during the last moments of New Year’s Day. The last moments of the holiday week.
Knowing that I should be a responsible human this week and take down my Christmas decorations, I sat back and enjoyed the beautiful glow while I still could.
Looking off to my left, I saw the cat peacefully slumped on his perch.. also staring at the tree. The writer part of my brain instantly started a narrative… A story of how this cat was sad to see the holiday season over. How all the work to make the holiday special.. made the next few weeks seem empty and hollow. Depressed at having to return to his work schedule..
Ha.. this particular cat was only exhausted because he had used all his ninja skills to evade the preschool age kids who just wanted to “love” on him.
… and his only longing glances at the tree? Involved wondering if he would be left alone with the tree long enough to make it to the top before I called his name.
I think everyone deals with holiday “hangover” emotions as their holiday week comes to an end. Whether it is exhaustion because they worked too hard .. worked at keeping up with the messes.. or keeping up with the activities.. or exhaustion from socializing. Or frustration because the holidays weren’t as magical or as smooth as they imagined.
Sometimes that emotion is reigning in the peace gained on vacation.. steeling yourself for returning to work. Or being lost with no holidays to look forward to …
… and I know there are a lot of people who are looking forward to the peace that a “break” in the holidays with give them. Looking forward to the stability of getting back to a normal schedule.
As I watch Miracle Max give a yawn before stalking off to the kitchen to see what holiday treats were left on the counter… I think about what emotions I am recovering from.
Over the seasons in my life, I have been the over achiever mom (where we did EVERY holiday tradition we could think of).. the crafting mom (where we made so many crafts and cookies)… the exhausted mom (where we did .. almost nothing).. the sick mom (where I wanted to be more but we were stuck in quarantine)… the responsible mom (where I was trying to see if schedules would help keep our “special needs” in control).. the budget mom (yeah.. well..)…
At the close of each of those seasons? I sat just like I am now.. looking at the tree. First running through the memories of the last weeks. Then carefully thinking about what worked well and what didn’t. Making mental notes on what to take with me into next season.
The 2018 season of life was a good mix. We prepared and then rested.
We worked hard to clean up for family events.. and then relaxed into enjoying them.
We crafted gluten free treats and homemade gifts.. then we sat by to watch others enjoy them.
We worked and planned and decorated.. then played games and watched Christmas movies together..
We had big family gatherings where we had loud noisy fun… then enjoyed quiet discussions over coffee..
Holidays are more than the magic of a full stocking on Christmas morning .. more than lights and decorations.. and even more than the extra calories in the Christmas treats..
.. and I have learned to celebrate family all year long.. so Christmas isn’t the only time to do that..
What I will take with me into this next season?
The balance that we learn during the holidays? I want that balance for all year long.
I love to celebrate family… I love to find joy in each season.. I love to find small things to look forward to… to share gifts of the heart.. to follow passion and dreams..
Those gifts I have already learned..
.. but I don’t always remember to relax into enjoying … often forgetting to enjoy the lights and the quiet of each season .. or remembering to rest..
So the gift of this season for me is finding Balance.
What gift did you unwrap this Christmas?