Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Craziness of the Season

It is Christmas in the heart
that puts Christmas in the air. ~ W.T. Ellis


The day before yesterday, I was getting ready to go to my quilt guild's annual Christmas potluck and quilt give-away. I was running behind and multi-tasking like crazy: blow-drying my hair, putting on make-up, finishing the appetizer I was bringing to the party, etc. My heart was racing; I felt frantic. There was just too much to do in too short a time.

You know the feeling?

But as my frenzied emotions were building to a crescendo, the strangest thing happened. I literally heard a voice inside my head say STOP! YOU'RE MISSING IT!

I took a deep breath and realized that I was letting this magical time of year slip through my fingers.

I love Christmas. It's my favorite time of year. I'm known among friends and family as being a little over-the-top about the season. But here I was, focusing on all the things that needed to get done, the lack of time, the frantic feeling of being overwhelmed - and I was missing it.


This was a real turning point for me. I don't want January 2009 to roll around, bringing of feeling of sadness that the holidays weren't all I wanted them to be. By golly, I am in control of how my holiday season will go - and I want it slower, more meaningful, and lots more enjoyable.

How about you?

I must admit that even after living here in southern California for almost ten years, it doesn't quite feel like the holidays without snow – or at least, cold weather. It's even tougher this year because we're having exceptionally warm weather. I saw people doing holiday shopping yesterday in shorts and tank tops! But the skies are incredibly blue these days, which can't help but lift one's spirits. And that should be what the Christmas season is all about, don’t you think: brighter spirits, gratitude for all our blessings, and remembrance of the true reason we celebrate this time of year.

So I'm making a conscious decision to slow down and enjoy the moments of this season. I know it won’t always be possible: I'm bound to go a little crazy with everything that still needs doing. But I made an attitude adjustment day before yesterday so that even as I'm running around, I'm doing so with a smile on my face, a “Happy Holidays!” on my lips, and a Christmas carol in my heart. Ho ho ho!


Hubby and I are hosting our annual holiday Open House this Saturday night. It's a chance for us to throw open our doors and let family, friends, coworkers and neighbors come by for a few minutes, or a few hours. We usually have somewhere between 50 to 75 people attend, but I think we'll have a smaller group this year (everyone is so busy!)

The festivities start at 6:00 - hope you can stop by!


Until next time...

32 comments:

Big Girl said...

You are so right, it is so easy to get caught up in all the craziness and let the time just fly by. nice to stand back, take a deep breath and enjoy the season.

have a lovely party!

carla said...

I love that you do an annual openhouse. now that we live in a domicile where we COULD do that I should start doing it...something laid back and small (and next year).

I used to be sad around christmas as a child that I wasnt christian and felt I missed out on so much---as I age I wonder if Im able to dodge some of the pressure (decorating etc) as well.

I love your plan to go slow and enjoy.

Hanlie said...

That's a very insightful attitude adjustment!

You've been scarce lately... I've missed you!

Needled Mom said...

It is so easy to get caught up in the crazy Christmas rush and it is so nice to slow down and enjoy this special time of the year. Sure, things will not be done as we would wish them to, but will anyone else notice?

I loved your thought provoking post. Hugs

Cammy said...

Shoot! I just checked and I can't get a flight. Maybe next year. :)

So glad you're slowing down to relish the joys of the season. No one deserves them more!

Nursin Gal said...

can't wait for he party!! and tomarrow night with you dad ad sistas

Wendy said...

So true! I'm right there with you. This year the holidays will not be what we were planning on, and I am determined to "overcome" and have Christmas in my heart. Loved the quote -- I used it this week, myself!

Great minds think alike. Wishing you lots of fun this weekend, and health and happiness this season.

Take One Stripper Pole said...

Hope you have fun at the party! I am sure it will be a huge success. Remember to take sometime then ... and really enjoy it.

JC said...

I would love to come by if it weren't for that getting across the country thing. I'm glad you listened to that inner voice. Have a great weekend.

new*me said...

you nailed it Pattie. This year we are slowing down and lightening up....less presents........a little less decorating.........focusing on the time spent with family and small gestures every day rather than a blow out on Christmas just because someone somewhere said we have to.

This is the Christmas I will always remember because it's about people not stuff.

debbyweighsin said...

Man that word 'overwhelmed' is everywhere nowadays. I actually talked about it at our church's ladies' Christmas event. And 'simplify' was my first suggestion. I agree with you completely.

I love the idea of an open house. I just wish I had the nerve to actually do it.

Deborah said...

If it wasn't such a long drive for me I'd definitely stop by.

I agree with the hustle and bustle dilema of the season. We all need to stop and smell the "pine" (instead of roses) in the air.

Sherry said...

So very, very true. Enjoy and share the spirit of Christmas!

Natalia said...

Great post! Enjoy!

Midlife Mom said...

I so know where you are coming from. I made a decision this year to not try to do everything. I have had lots to do with care of my Mom and that is the most important thing so some of the other things will just have to go for this year. I decided not to put up all of my Dept. 56 houses as it takes hours and hours plus hours and hours to take down after Christmas. I also decided not to try to do so much decorating and you know what, I bet no one will even notice. I want to enjoy this season of joy, not feel all dragged out and tired. So far it's working, I am doing a little bit each day and not worrying if I don't get it all done. Quite a breakthough for me as I always go over the top too on my decorating and shopping. Wish I could come to your open house!!!

Hanlie said...

Hi Pattie, I've left something for you at my blog (Sunday 14th).

Hope your open house went well!

Megan said...

The open house was a blast!!! It just feels like home at your house :)

grammy said...

Slowing down and enjoying has been my goal for the last few years. If it happens (the party, the potluck with friends, the date with my sister, the cookie baking etc.) my life will be richer for it, but I refuse to break my neck in the process. Wish I could come to your open house. It is zero degrees here in Colorado. Take some pics of the gathering and post them for us. Come over and see some pics from my New York vacation. (o:

Lora said...

Thanks for the reminder. It seems the past few years have gotten busier and busier for me. (Probably because I work now....) When I was a SAHM I savored every minute of the holiday season.

No reason I can't still get it back, right?

Wish I lived in California - I'd drop by your open house!

Katschi said...

Hi Pattie,
Hope you're enjoying the week up to Christmas and that it's not too stressful for you. I hope all is well in your neck of the woods!

Manuela said...

Missing your posts and comments but BOY do I understand!

I just wanted to wish you a merry Christmas. I'll try to keep my eyes opened for a post from you.

Take care Pattie dear and Happy Holidays to you and your family!

PEA said...

Isn't it wonderful when you finally listen to that inner voice that says "stop and enjoy this time of year"?:-) I so wish I could have gone to your open house!!

May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through! Merry Christmas to you and yours, dear Pattie. xoxo

Kathy said...

My biggest challenge for myself is to live in the moment...not to beat myself up about yesterday or fret about what needs to get done. No. Just to enjoy this moment and know peace!

I hope you have a wonderful Holiday and I'll catch up with you in the New Year!

Katschi said...

Hi Pattie! It was so good to hear from you!
Merry Christmas to you & your family! Enjoy the holidays, be safe, be happy, be good...well a little bit naughty is alright :)

jillytacy said...

Merry Christmas Pattie! I hope you were able to slow down and enjoy your favorite holiday! I hope 2009 is a healthy, happy and peaceful year for you!

carla said...

hope you are still merry and bright and had a great christmas!

Lora said...

ppy New Year Patti! I've missed you!

Take One Stripper Pole said...

Manuela and I wonder if we send a search party out for you ... how are things? We all miss you. :)

grammy said...

I agree with the gals that said they miss you. Hope all is well with you.

Lora said...

Is everything okay pattie? We all miss you and are worried!!

PEA said...

Ahem...time to post something Mz Pattie!!! Hmmmm, I wonder if you're just waiting for me to send a tall, dark, handsome Mountie to go find you?? hehe Hope all is well, missing you so much! xoxo

prashant said...

nice to stand back, take a deep breath and enjoy the season.
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