This past Sunday Gail and I went to a small community church near Chatham and became Godparents to a couple of boys who lived with us a few years ago. After the service we went back to their house and watched as they opened some Christmas presents from their grandparents who they won’t be able to see over Christmas. And that’s when I realized how close Christmas really is. I felt anxious for awhile because like you, I live in a world of OUGHTS and SHOULDS that make me feel guilty when I can’t meet my own expectations. So what I did yesterday is to come up with a plan and here it is:
– Instead of trying to bake everything this year that I have in the past, I’ll ask each of the kids what one thing that they would like me to bake for Christmas and I’ll concentrate on those.
– Instead of making sure that I have turkey and all the trimmings on Christmas Day, I’m going to make turkey sometime during the holidays.
– Instead of trying to pack Christmas visits into two days over Christmas and Boxing Day, I’ll stay at home and make some phone calls.
– Since the kids are all older now and would rather sleep in, I might have a sleepover with Lucas and Graham and experience the magic of Christmas morning with them.
– I’m going to give some gift cards instead of gifts which is something that I never thought I would do but the next couple of weeks will be crazy as people head out in full force to shop.
I may not stick with the same plan next year, but for just this year I’m deciding what traditions I need to keep and what ones I can let go of…I may even start a new tradition that works better and keep it for awhile until I need to change it again. The really big thing was to decide what Christmas means to me and that is spending time with my family.
We always put pamphlets out at Christmas time that talk about grieving through the holidays. A few people may pick one up but there’s really not a whole lot you can learn in a couple of pages so I will continue next week with some of the challenges of facing the holidays.