Unexpected consequences

Recently I heard someone talking about how stressed they were over the holidays. I have solved the holiday problem in my personal life by being non-participatory. No longer do I put up a tree, string lights, or bake cookies. For me these trappings have become benchmarks which are sometimes unattainable. We work long hours and feel that if we don’t do all of these things in the most excellent way, that we will somehow let our family and friends down. Thanks, Martha Stewart.

It started for me when I liberated myself from Christmas cards. I used to send out volumes and receive them in equal numbers. The first year or so after deciding to stop, I still continued to get them but after a while, the numbers dwindled. Maybe now I get less than a dozen, one of them to be sure is from my insurance agency. Do I still have friends? Does anyone think less of me because I don’t send cards? Well, I do have friends and maybe there are some who think less of me but that is not a point upon which I worry.

Christmas still happens, and even better because I can focus on being with those I care for rather than stressing over being “ready”. Once I realized that Christmas was going to happen whether or not I was ready, it was a big weight removed from my life.

The public decorations at town commons and shops are delightful. I will play holiday music at my home, I will burn a pine scented candle, and I will stir my hot chocolate with a peppermint stick.

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