In the history of Christianity and the modern world (and without thinking about it too hard), I can not for the life of me come up with another single day for which there are so many preparations, so much forethought, such grand anticipation, and so much egg nog. The planning, the lists, the shopping, wrapping, cooking, baking, stamping, mailing, decorating… all for ONE SINGLE DAY. And it happens every single year!
I get it. I really do… I am trying to hold true to the real reason for the season, while still making special memories for my family. Don’t overdo it, but don’t make your kids feel like freaks because all they got from Santa was an orange. I mean, I read John Grisham’s Skipping Christmas. I get it.
This year, I approached Christmas with calm. I figured I’d aim for yin and things would all balance out in the end. I had sprained my ankle in a freak (okay, slightly drunken) slippery, gravel road incident on Thanksgiving, so I had an actual reason not to do a lot of running around anyway. I worked hard (fortunately, it didn’t take much) to keep the joy of Christmas in my heart every day and to spread that joy to all* I met.
(* Except for that one lady in the parking lot near Homegoods. There was a bit of a car jam at the traffic light and she didn’t wish to wait. In the meantime, my cell phone rang and I answered it manually before switching to Bluetooth. The red light lasted for, oh, about a decade, so her impatience just kept mounting and mounting. She directed it all at me and screamed through her windshield, “HANG UP YOUR PHONE! I AM CALLING THE POLICE!” I was like, “It is a red light. I’m not even driving.” So she all-caps yelled at me again. I may have misplaced my yin a little when I yelled back at her (just like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman), “Fine! You’re calling the cops? Great. Tell them I said, ‘Hi’!” Then I laughed out loud and mouthed to her, “You do see the irony in the fact that you are PICKING UP YOUR OWN PHONE to call the police and tell on me for being on the phone, RIGHT?” And then the light turned green. Merry Christmas, Lady.)
It has taken a full week for me to recover from my family’s awesome Christmas. And it truly was awesome. I am a very lucky girl.
Today is New Year’s Day. It is the day that represents starting over and clean slates and all things NEW. I am not a big New Year’s Eve partier anymore, so I usually wake up early on January 1st and I get to enjoy all of the newness by myself for a little while. It is one of my favorite mornings of the whole year.
So, here for your enjoyment is the Swiger Family Christmas card for 2014. I know I’m a whole week or so late, but it does say, “Happy 2015” on the back. Technically, I guess I am scootching in on the tail end.
But I’d like to think that I am actually sneaking in at the beginning of the NEW. May 2015 bring you joy and hope and lots of opportunities to live the life that makes you happy.
Wish me luck for 2015…