I'm not saying these same things definitely won't happen as the season progresses, but this year feels different. It HAS been different in just about every area of life. As I look at what needs done this year, it doesn't feel so overwhelming.
The day after Thanksgiving we set up our tree and put out decorations. We decided to keep the decorating pretty simple this year with a toddler around. At the same time I was eager to decorate this year and even open to listening to Christmas music. Since we are all home more this year there is more family time to enjoy the activities of the season. In fact, some things like making sugar cookies can even be planned into our homeschool lessons.
The list of activities and social functions we need to attend is much smaller...as in nearly non-existent. I don't need to make six cheeseballs and four dozen cookies to divide up between parties, neighbors, and friends. I can still gift to those nearby but mostly I just need to worry about us which is no different than every other day of the year. The craziest part, my kids might actually get to just hang out in their pajamas on Christmas and enjoy their gifts instead of being rushed off to see family.
I LOVE our family traditions. I love seeing all the aunts, uncles, and cousins from both sides of my parents' large families. I love catching up with everyone and celebrating being together. The thought of all these special moments being canceled made me sad at first. But as I let the reality set in and come to terms with this year...I have to admit the slower pace and just being with my immediate family sounds kind of nice.
We have the opportunity to build something new. We have the opportunity to make some new traditions. How do we want to spend our time? What activities do we want to make time for even once things go back to normal? This year offers us a blank slate and endless possibilities. I am excited to see what we will build and which things will be continued as we move through the years.
I'm grateful to be forced to shake things up this year. I'm grateful to see the other extreme of what's possible for the holiday season. I'm grateful to know that this knowledge will serve me well as I pick and choose which activities we give our energy to in the future. I'm grateful for a large close family. I'm grateful for my wonderful little family too. I'm grateful for traditions and for the opportunity to create some new traditions. I'm grateful to build this season in a new way that may just be the answer to really enjoying the season. I'm grateful to decorate with my family. I'm grateful to cherish this time with my girls and relish in their excitement and joy.
How will you build this season? What are your favorite traditions?
May this year be a gift in its own way. May we reconnect with the true meaning of the season and cherish the traditions that remain. Have a beautiful day!