There are two days left until Christmas. If you’re anything like me, these two days pass in an overwhelming cloud of lists and lists of things to do, people to see, food to shop for, gifts to finish off… Just yesterday my Husband looked at me and said, “It’s only one day. Why do you drive yourself like this?”
To be honest, I’ve cut back a lot this year. I haven’t made presents, I haven’t written cards except to a few people, I’ve held back many of the decorations that I used to put up on any and every flat surface in the house. When even the garage windowsill has a santa or a snowman on it, then it’s time to rethink the decorating.
But his words made me stop, and think. Even if I have streamlined the house, the activities and the decorating, Christmas is still about busy-ness, isn’t it? Whether that’s the business of a parent getting ready for the Big Day, or of the relative sitting by a hospital bed and keeping busy rather than facing the problems ahead, we are all rather good at Christmas displacement activities. Even if we face Christmas alone, we usually cover that loneliness with the business of television or of bustling around the house. We are forever moving.
Today I am going to give myself a gift, a very precious gift. I am going to stop for half an hour in the middle of my business. I am going to take myself off to my bedroom, with a cup of tea and a magazine, and I am going to set the alarm for 30 minutes and woe betide anyone who interrupts me. That’s my time to be, not do. To breathe the peace of the season as well as the business. To gather my thoughts and stop being mithered. The magazine is a cover for the family, but really I will spend 30 minutes relaxing, breathing, meditating, praying and resting in my own self
And when I come down the stairs I will go back to being busy. I have cakes to bake, presents still to wrap (last minute shopping is a pain), a turkey stuffing to prepare, vegetables to roast,a meal to make today and tomorrow besides the Big Feast. Life goes on, always, and it is beautiful.
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