Sunday, December 15, 2013

Dirt: This year will be different

The holidays are here!
This may be the first year that I am on my game, ready for whatever comes. 
Presents are wrapped and under the tree. Most of the people that I want to treat to a little something, have a little something. This year, it does not seem like a chore, but a privilege.
Last year, or the year before, I made up my mind to enjoy the holidays.Simple, right?
Well, for me, not so much.

My idea was that it had to be perfect, it had to be "right".
What is right, other than an absurd notion of something completely unobtainable?
My moment of clarity was when my kids, in one of our trips to school, mentioned that they like it when we don't have company/parties because I am not stressed out. 
Gut punch.
I explained that I like having those things, but that it is frustrating to get everything together by myself. That was my moment of clarity.
Why does it have to be about me and my idea of "right"? That need to control everything is such an immature and childish way of thinking.

This year, we went to a different tree farm than the one I wanted because Steve wanted to go hang with his buddy and watch football. We had  a lot of fun, laughing and being together. We ended up at the "good" one the next day. The tree we bought took us four days to get up and the lights on. Three more and it was decorated. We have not made a single cookie, there have been no parties and we are all happy as clams.

I have not run all over town purchasing things for people I feel compelled to shop for.Yesterday was the first day I went to a store in search of holiday items. 

Instead, I have bought very little. Not because I don't love my friends and family, but because I am enjoying my friendships and family instead of resenting the pressure to make their lives better on December 25.

Don't get me wrong, there are lots of presents under my tree (13), I have just given myself permission to not be so compelled. I am thinking of presents as what they should be, tokens of affection instead of chores of obligation checked off a list.
I would like to be able to say that I am giving in the spirit of Jesus, but that would not be completely true. 
His gift is selfless and pure. Mine have strings attached. I expect to be thanked and appreciated. Ugly, but true. This year, they are given with more joy. 
Finally, I am growing up.

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