Yesterday I baked red velvet cookies with white chocolate and crushed candy canes for some of our friends. I must confess, even listening to carols while baking red and white cookies, I didn’t feel particularly Christmasy. I’ve come to accept that that’s just how this Christmas is going to be. Usually I’m driven by this (somewhat ridiculous) notion that Christmas must be the most special, amazing and magical day of all time, but this year, I’m letting go a little. Christmas 2012 will be very quiet and understated for us. This year we aren’t able to see all our family and we don’t have money to spend on piles of gifts. But that’s ok. There is nothing so very terrible about a humble Christmas.
There is so much pressure on us all at this time of year. At Christmas we are bombarded with advertisements, television programs and blog posts featuring happy, sunshiney people. Cute kids surrounded by masses of presents. Huge extended families, laughing at the table around a giant turkey. Kisses under mistletoe at fancy parties. And while that’s all really wonderful when you have a fabulous Christmas planned, if you’re experiencing distances between loved ones, strained relationships or financial hardships… Well, that can be really tough. And in those cases, all the picture perfect imagery can just be a horrible reminder of how imperfect Christmas might be.
No matter whether you celebrate Christmas big or small (or not at all). No matter if you’ll be spending your days with crowds of family or quietly alone. No matter whether you’re gifted with lots of presents or none, I hope the next few days will be happy for you. I hope you’ll find pleasure in the little things and, despite our culture’s focus on material stuff, remember what really matters. Love. Peace. Gratitude. Hope. And if your Christmas isn’t shaping up to be the most magical day of the year, please remember that a quiet or (dare I say it) even an unpleasant Christmas is not the end of the world. It’s ok if the day does not go perfectly! There will be other years.
We’ll be spending the next few days quietly at home. We’ll eat lots of food. We’ll probably watch sappy Christmas movies and play boardgames. It won’t be fancy, but it will be nice. Nice and humble.
So Merry Christmas friends! Sending wishes of great joy and much love your way. We’ll see you on the other side of all the festive craziness!