Since I blogged about the crappiness of December just a couple days ago, I've been thinking about the more positive attributes of the dark month. Things like, special food and candle lit church services and brown paper packages tied up in string and things like that. I've been thinking about how once a year, people make an effort to contact each other.
Meanwhile, out looking for useful, pleasing, and meaningful gifts for my loved ones, I went on a magazine buying spree. It happens... I just break down and admit that I really do wanna know what Oprah and her buddies plan to do to help me live a better life. Maybe a better life involves staying away from all those magazines that cost money and tell me what to do, but I'm weak that way.
Here's something odd about December, although I'm not sure if it's just this year, or if I've never noticed before: all the real experts are telling us not to go overboard, to take time to relax, make it easy on ourselves, and not feel the need to be perfect. Well, duh. A good dose of LAZY will go a long way there, eh?
But seriously. When you have a hard time remembering when to eat, or find yourself in a room with no idea why you're there, or walk away from a sink full of hot soapy water and come back to cold slimy suds four hours later... you really don't need to have a magazine quality decorating job. You just don't. Do you care? Does it matter?
I can tell you what matters to me.
-I cannot be stressed to the point that I'm causing stress to my family. I have to know when to draw the line with the outside world, and say, "Okay, done. No more shopping, snow shoveling, computer, phone, housework, driving. It's snuggle-up-n-read time." And we shut it down for an hour or so. I have to be the one to say when.
-We have to get enough sleep. It's dark outside anyways; go to bed!
-I want us to get at least three days of celebrating Christmas with loved ones.
-I need to laugh, real good and hard, until the back of my head hurts from grinning so wide.
-As odd as this sounds, I want to appreciate the dark. It's natural for this time of year, and rather than let myself feel oppressed by it, I want to think of it as an opportunity to slow down and think. Hunker down.
So what matters the most?
It'll be different for all of us. What I Know For Sure (that'll be the last page of "H the Heidi Magazine") is that I really don't want my Christmas to be infected with stress. I've done that. I don't like it. I want to take the pressure off and enjoy this holiday.
Therefore your Hick Chic Guide to Retaining Some Form of Sanity this Christmas is basically...
Siddown, have a nice hot beverage, or a cold one if you prefer, stop worrying about getting crappy presents for everyone, stop caring about doing everything right, and decide what is absolutely important. Anything outside of Absolutely Important can be ignored for a few more weeks.
What's you survival plan for the hectic days of December?