I can feel the momentum of the season building and the temptation to give in to old habits pulling at me. I find myself wandering around shops looking for the illusive gift that will be so perfect it will bring peace and joy to all, or at least temporary amusement or a smile and ‘just what I needed’ comment. Anything but, the dreaded, ‘Oh that’s nice,’ with the shifty where do I look eyes. And my desire for chocolates in all combinations of red and green is going through the roof as I feel the pressure of the Holiday. The house has to look like it popped out of Martha Stewart’s magazine. The lights have to go up. Hang the wreath. God, it’s too big for the door. We need a new door. And then there is the food. I want to eat and drink everything. Why does eggnog taste so good? And I love all of this stuff. I love the over-the-top decorating. I love the presents wrapped with coordinating but, not matching ribbons and gift tags. It all goes together, but isn’t the same, looks effortless but, you know it took all fucking day to make those origami snowflakes. It makes me happy to see all of the pretty things that come out this time of year. But, the effort it takes to achieve at the level I have in my mind makes the process, at some point, become un-fun, un-joyful. I don’t have a staff of creatives to hang the roping with perfect swags. I lose the plot somewhere in wishing for perfection.
I felt it today, perusing the aisle after aisle of decorations saying to my husband- the most tolerant man on the planet,
“I need miniature, snow-covered, fake Christmas trees to make the mantle look nice,” while gesturing with my hands the varying sizes, and snowiness of these trees. And he said,
“Oh really, You need these? Need them??” I felt snapped out of a stupor by his question. Oh, yeah, I don’t need them. I need fresh air. I need nutritious food and clean water, a roof over my head and time with my friends and family. I need time to reflect and to feel grateful. Everything else is a want. And at that moment I didn’t want what I wanted anymore. I wanted to make do with what I already had to decorate the mantel. And to decorate as long as I can hum carols in a non-sarcastic way, while doing it. I wanted to remember that this time of year is about reflection, about family and about giving without attachment to outcome. I appreciated the reminder and intend to keep the thought of want vs need in my mind as I go through this season of giving. I think it will help me to feel lighter and more joyous to remember my needs are taken care of and while I want a Pinterest inspired holiday experience for us all, it is nothing to get worked up about, except for finding those trees. I really must find those trees.