Thanksgiving and Christmas might as well be combined into one holiday. That’s at least how it feels sometimes. It’s like the moment you’re done breaking bread and wishbones, you’re sitting down again for the seven fish.
As I’ve gotten older, there seems to be less and less time in between the holidays – in a figurative sense, of course. This year, I barely had time to complain about the Christmas music coming on the radio too soon or that movie marathon rushing and ushering the holidays. This year, the timing of each seemed appropriate.
We even set up our Christmas tree in early December, a far cry from our usual a couple days before Christmas because we forgot or got too busy or just were so defeated by the season that we really didn’t care.
That’s the holiday hustle where by the time you realize it’s Christmas, it’s already over. Mind you I’m looking at this solely from a Roman Catholic standpoint, so I’m not sure if those who celebrate Hanukah or Kwanza feel the same way, but here’s the point:
We spend so much time closing out at work, running around to get this present or get to this party that we oftentimes fail to take a moment to enjoy a Christmas tree or make some cookies or even to watch one of those Christmas movie marathons I just complained about earlier.
When I was younger, the time seemed to go by so much slower. I could not wait for Christmas, yet the days seemed to crawl like a slug. Even Christmas Eve I remember being unbearably slow – whether I was waiting for the fish feast I abhorred to be completed, the piles of dishes to be washed and put away, the presents to be opened upstairs with my grandparents. What I would give now just to be able to sit and watch all of that in slow motion as an adult.
All that rushing to get home to not be able to fall asleep and have the agonizing hours tick away until it was finally Christmas. It felt like such a journey then. Now, it’s a sprint.
I guess there’s only a few takeaways once you come to terms with the above – unless you know how to slow time (contact me directly about that):
Give yourself those moments to stop and have a cup of hot cocoa in your jammies.
Make more time for family no matter how you feel about them.
Love those around you and let them know it.
And finally appreciate that even though you’re caught up in the hustle and feel like you’re in Quantum Leap, you’re still around.
Because to be present before it’s the past again is the greatest gift of the holiday season.