January is here, and I am pondering this past holiday season. Although I do have some regrets about how December morphed once again into a cyclone of self-inflicted stress and anxiety, my family found ways to counter my frustrations. They made me realize, with laughter and love, how lucky I truly am.
For example, one question aggravated me during those hectic days of December and it concerned my bathroom scale. Why did it persist in displaying increasingly larger numbers when I consciously reduced my baked goods? Granted, I reduced the number of cookies, bars, candies, and candied nuts not because I was trying to be healthy or calorie conscious. As Christmas Eve drew closer, I realized I just didn’t feel like baking…which brings me right back to my original complaint. If the calorie laden goods weren’t available in record setting quantities, why did standing on my scale, even with heels hanging off the backside, still raise those darn numbers?
My sons, who felt my pain, actually talked about marketing a Holiday Scale for Mothers. This scale would take a hiatus during the Christmas season. Since scales do not contribute to feelings of good cheer, especially their mother’s, they are going to design one that reads “You are doing great! Have a cookie” every day beginning December 15th.
I am very lucky to have ingenious and caring sons.
Not to be left out, my daughters took control of the kitchen and carried off a beautiful feast, complete with china dinnerware, glistening crystal goblets, and newly polished silver. After Christmas dinner, I was ordered to a “just sit down Mom, we’ll do the dishes” directive. Raising my empty wine glass to my husband, signaling for a refill mind you, I felt so blessed. An hour later, as their brothers kept trooping in with more dishes to be handwashed , we heard our daughters plotting in the kitchen … “what the heck… next year we’re using paper plates”.
Needless to say, dessert was served on my everyday dishwasher safe dinnerware.
My main regret, and I seem to regret this every year without fail, is the lack of foresight in planning quiet time for myself.
I tried to ignore my text messages, cell phone, and the email pings signaling I have new mail…but I never quite managed not to read , answer , or open them. Thoughts kept buzzing in my ears late into the night…this needs to be done, bought, wrapped, cooked, ironed, or polished. As hard as I tried to keep the reason why we celebrate Christmas in the forefront, I never quite reached that part of the Christmas journey where I could just be.
And that, I have come to realize, is why I love January.
The quiet I never manage to hear during the December rush descends. Sitting in the Christmas tree-less family room, after the last of the decorations are back in the attic and most of the pine needles swept away, I count the many blessings God has bestowed on me. I can just be.
Be with the wonderful memories made during the past holiday season. Be at peace with where I am on my life’s journey. Most importantly, be with the best friend I will ever have, Jesus Christ.
May everyone have a truly blessed new year.
Copyright 2010 Carol S. Bannon