Like many parents I know, planning for the Christmas season is already high on the list of things to do (I know, I know, it’s not even Halloween!). While in the old days our parents were responsible for the magic of the season, Steve and I are now charged with curating a holiday experience that will meet the expectations of our children and ourselves. And with this new role comes planning, budgeting, and executing.
Last night Steve and I had our first real Christmas discussion of the year. We’ve been thinking of it, of course, having saved our Amazon credit card points for gifts and started to book some activities for December. We’ve orchestrated family visits for Thanksgiving and Christmas from our West Coast contingency and have planned a pre-Thanksgiving jaunt to New York City for some festive family time as well. However, we have yet to discuss our expectations for this holiday season.
Our conversation began initially with the usual ideas–the Christmas card, the advent calendar, the kids’ gift lists, and ideas for family and friends. However, the discussion morphed into something entirely different as we continued talking. The theme that began to resonate with me during our chat was this: we have everything we need.
Now, let me translate this epiphany into real-life terms. It’s not that I don’t want a beautifully decorated, fun-packed, hand-crafted, and gift-filled holiday season. What I realized in the course of our planning session was that we are so lucky. We have our health. We have beautiful children. We live in our dream home. We enjoy our day-to-day lives. We love each other.
While the stress of everyday life augments as the calendar approaches December, I hope I can capture this feeling of contentment and carry it through the holiday season and beyond. If I can embrace this sentiment and adjust my expectations accordingly, then these next few months can be truly magical.
What a good way to begin this upcoming season of thanks.