The Holly Daze

by Marilynn Halas on December 18th, 2011
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            Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines.   It’s official, we are in full holiday season and all systems are go.  Go to the store, go to the market, go to the airport; go everywhere and anywhere just go, go, go.

Exhausting isn’t it?  We work and strive and plan and cajole our way to the holiday of our dreams.  Everyone gathered around enjoying their gifts and food and most of all the magic of the season that you helped create.   It’s perfect.  Then we wake up and realize that there is an ominous looking spill under the table, our flowers are wilting and someone just sneezed over the eggnog.  Now what?

What if it was still perfect?  What if perfect meant that we embrace our imperfections?  We are human and we make mistakes and that is a big part of what makes us lovable.   It’s all a matter of perspective.  When we enlarge ours, we can make room for our fantasies, our foibles and our friends and family.

Someone may be late, someone else might make a dreadful dessert and someone will throw a temper tantrum, (that person may or may not be a toddler).   That’s okay.  Enlarge your perspective again.   Someone will squeal with delight, someone will laugh until they cry and someone will fall asleep beside the fire, (again, that person may or may not be the baby.)

In the midst of wrapping and running around, when there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day, but the nights seem way too long, give yourself a gift.  Replace judgment with gentleness and give yourself a break instead of ever higher expectations.  We have all heard it before, but it bears repeating.  It’s who is around the table, not what’s on it.  It’s the giving that matters, not the getting.  It’s the memories made, not the things we forgot to pick up.

Before we know it another holiday season will have come and gone.  When the dinner is finished and the gifts are no longer a surprise, one precious present will be opened again and again through the years.  The memories of being together, through the happy and the sad and the exhilarating and exhausting, we build our family community little by little and one season at a time.

No matter how the turkey, ham or beef wellington turns out, these are days to draw close to the ones we love and to show our children that the love between family and friends is bright enough to light up even the darkest time of the year.  Find joy, make celebration a priority and show love, to yourself as well as others.

This is a time to make things new, new beginnings, new life and maybe even new priorities.  There are miracles all around us, so try not to get your tinsel in a tangle.  The best gifts are not from the stores, they are from your heart.  Enjoy this blessed time and spend your energies on what will last beyond next week, the love you share for others and yourself.  It’s the only thing I know that grows bigger and bigger the more you give it away.


Happy Holidays and remember to keep your face to the sun, (or the lights,) and all shadows will fall behind.



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