Sunday, November 26, 2023

From One Holiday to the Next

The frenzy is upon us. That super tight window of time between Thanksgiving and the December holidays. In our house, that holiday is Christmas. Of course, in the retail world, the aisles were rivaling each other with the trifecta at the end of October. In a few stores I went to, the Christmas goods were far outnumbering the Halloween items!

I'm definitely a fan of one holiday at a time. When my daughter was younger I had to enforce the "no Christmas music before Thanksgiving" ruling. Some years that was harder than others. This year, for Thanksgiving, we had a table set for 18, making it very necessary to stay singularly-focused on Thanksgiving. Works that way when you are hosting! But now that Thanksgiving has now passed, the table has been stripped, the fall autumnal colors have been replaced, the tree is now up in a bit of a whirlwind. As a teacher with a 5-day Thanksgiving break and the supreme gift of time, the timing just seems to work out well to transform the house into the winter wonderland. [Though, even with that, I am always keen on making it so that all the decorations can go up (and ultimately come down at the end of the season) in roughly a 24-hour time period.]

I've long had a complicated relationship with Christmas. I suspect many parents do. The memories of the seasonal childhood magic gives you a definite eye-opening when you see how much work goes into making all that magic happen for children. There's a lot of moving parts, changing wish list items, shopping, decorating, outings, shopping, spending, more shopping, and "extras" that come during this time of the year. I can get exhausted and/or overwhelmed pretty darn easily. (Doubly harsh when I'm not a born shopper or spender.) I'd imagine I'm not alone. I think as an elementary teacher (where classrooms and bulletin boards also rotate seasonally, and kids' eyes sparkle in the hopes of all that's ahead), it adds to the tight timetable and the magical demands of this time of the year.

Additionally, I know that it can be a difficult time of the year for many in other ways too. The longer we spin on this planet, the more we live, love, and face loss. That can also bring hard emotions upon the season. Memories and merriment at times can counter each other.  Like I said, Christmas can be complicated.

This year, our halls got decked in a timely and patient manner. (I can't always say this.) I did it around naps and with the proper balance of sanity and serenity. I'm hoping to approach the entire season semi-holding on to this sentiment. One way I'm hoping to go about this mindset is through this advent calendar that I purchased from Sharing Kindness--one for me, one for a friend. We can be in sync with each other, and hopefully too it will soothe my tendency toward Christmas chaos during this in between season.

Hopefully you are managing the flip from one holiday to the next with the right energy and joy levels.  May you share kindness, compassion, and warm spirits along the way...even when the lines are long, the nerves are frazzled, and your over-packed schedule starts tipping your scales. 

Video from and pics from my home.

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