Tick tock tick
Today marks the day that I slow down each year – or at least try to. There are two weeks left until Christmas, and I intend to enjoy them.
Sometimes when I find myself frazzled by life, I like to take two steps back and look at everything as if I am not a part of it. This helps me to figure out what to do when I take the two steps forward and rejoin the world. This works for me; and I bet it would work for others, too, if they only tried it. It’s simple: take time out and think.
Thinking doesn’t seem to be a part of our lives anymore, and that, to me, is very sad. We get to the end of our lives and think: “Where did the time go?” and “How did I get here?” I think that part of the problem is we go too fast.
This has always been my favorite time of the year. I am certain that others feel the same way. When I think back to my childhood, I remember the fascination I had with Christmas. I will admit that a certain degree of this was unbridled avarice: we were poor and this was the only day of the year that we got presents. Birthdays were not a guarantee of this – not like at Christmas. Birthdays were meant for more practical things, such as school clothes, that is, if there was money enough for any sort of presents.That fact alone made Christmas HUGE.
But in looking back, I can hardly remember any of the gifts I got. What do I remember? Christmas and family tradition. Christmas was always the family, always together, and the “stuff” always came second.
So, what has changed? We still decorate the tree, bake cookies, wrap presents – but do we enjoy it as much? It doesn’t seem like we do. And the amazing thing is that Christmas now starts as soon as they put away the “back to school” items and ends with the “make sure you buy what you deserved but didn’t get for Christmas” sale. We have almost 4 months of Christmas, and yet we say “Wow, how did Christmas come and go so fast?”
I propose that this happens because we don’t take time out and enjoy it. Simple as that.
The Triumph of OCD
There are certain times when traits that are considered problematic can indeed prove beneficial; and this is one of those times. Having OCD, I can be very organized. That is a big advantage at Christmas time. Here’s why: (please understand that I am not recommending this for everyone unless you are a trained obsessive like me. If you aren’t, injury might occur.)
I make it part of my way of life to be done with as many Christmas “chores” as possible so that I can almost free up the entire two weeks before Christmas for fun and enjoyment and people. (I know this sounds crazy, but I never said I wasn’t crazy.)
Most of my shopping is done by now. Some years, I was done by December 1st. My house is decorated. My tree is up. My cards have been mailed. All that is left is some cooking. (Food needs to be fresh. Nobody likes a ham that was baked in October.)
Now I have the freedom to go to the mall and enjoy the holiday music and the decorations and the people hustling about. Now I can drive around my neighborhood and enjoy the beautiful lights. Now I can go to church and remember what Christmas is all about. Now I can sit back and get all the pleasure I need out of being with my family and my friends.
Do I get presents? Sure I do. But I really don’t care what I get. Anything is fine. It truly is the thought that counts. Those are not empty words.
As I sat at an event at a local library last night, I took time to look around. I took time to give thanks for my friends that were there with me. I was thankful for my health and the blessings of the day. This is a gift that cannot be wrapped in a box. It is the gift of people and events and time, all mixed together to make a memory.
This is why I slow down at this time of the year. I do not want the beauty of these precious two weeks to escape me. I would like to wish everyone a very SLOW Christmas!