The Christmas spirit has been MIA this year.
I blame it on a year of Too Much. Too Much of everything, and I’m left wanting nothing but to be at home, petting my kitty, thinking about silence and white walls and the hush of finality. Instead, the calendar announced “December!” so I boarded a plane, flew north, and landed in the Mitten. We’ve got snow on the ground here, presents to be wrapped, and a family that is not quite ready for Christmas. It’s a minor miracle that I even have presents to wrap: I started shopping last week. I am not kidding.
So today, on Christmas Eve Eve, I went searching for Christmas. I found it inside, hanging on the tree. I found it outside, on trees decorated and lit up in the middle of downtown Plymouth. And I found it in the elves’ workshop, as we wrapped and labeled and bowed and stacked.
I figured that as long as I’m in Michigan for Christmas, I ought to get into the spirit of things.
In my family, we’re doing a smaller Christmas. For those of us around my age, we picked names and focused our gift-giving powers on one special person. I know a lot of families do that, and it’s been a long time coming for us. It was weird to not buy gifts for all my siblings and their partners, but I think this is a change we can all embrace. Down in Texas, Paul assures me that all of his presents to his family are from us, both of us, and that warms my heart. I’ve never been part of an “us” that compares at all to Paul and me. It feels deeply right to me, because he feels deeply right with me. I’m sad that I won’t be there for his family celebration, but Paul’s family is the one that’s local to us, so we see them much more frequently than I see mine.
It’s been such a turbulent year for me in the best and worst ways. I wonder if I’ve been struggling to stay present in the moment because I’m just ready for the fresh start that 2014 will bring. I’m already thinking about new goals, new work, a freshly cleaned apartment, and the chance to begin anew. I fell far short of reaching all my 2013 goals, but I feel like I learned something valuable from them. I hope to use those lessons to embrace opportunity when it presents itself.
But before we turn the calendar to 2014, there is Christmas and family and a final ~HURRAH!~ for 2013. I want to be part of that. So this is me, recommitting to these final days of the year. About five more days with family. One more multi-destination trip, during which I will welcome 2014 in the company of dear friends. Who knows how many moments to live that old cliché: they call it the present because it’s a gift.
Merry days to you and yours, dear readers.