Friday, December 11, 2009
I'm Dreaming of a Slow Christmas
One of the Christmas presents that I am giving to friends and family this year is a copy of Ann Kroeker's book Not So Fast. The premise of the book is one that is very dear to my heart...giving busy families slow-down solutions so that their lives will be more meaningful, healthy, creative, and spiritually focused. Good stuff. And I had the honor of having one of my blog posts reprinted and placed in this book! Can I tell you how fun it is to see my little (big!) name printed on page 63?!
I had to remind myself of these principles of slow living as I approached the Christmas season. About a week and a half ago I was feeling the anxiety, the pressure, the temptations towards unrealistic expectations ("everything must be handmade!"), and tears were coming and welling up way too often. I took a big breather and thought about what are the most important things to me at Christmas and then toss the rest.
It's important to me to make my Christmas cards, play Christmas music excessively, bake lots of cookies, read my children great Christmas stories, and do our daily advent readings. But parties, full schedules, school work, running around town, homemade pajamas for my kids, patchwork Christmas pillows and handmade gifts for all who are important to me had to all get tossed from "the list". Those things can be good things, but if they come between me and my relationship with the Lord, Mike, and my children, then they can become bad things rather quickly.
So now my schedule is empty and my days are filled with fun stuff. Lots of music, movies, baking, creating and wrapping. All school-ish items (like workboxes!) were vanquished to the attic so that home can just be home. My spirit has lightened and I have joy and peace (although I wish I could send my laundry away for a month :).
If you are feeling the holiday pressure mounting, ask yourself, "Am I doing what I really want to be doing?" Or are you trying to live up to others' expectations or your own unrealistic ones? What can you change, tweak or let go of all together? Where can all the "more, more, more" become less, less, less?
I am dreaming of a slow Christmas. And I think that is one holiday dream that really can come true.