Friday, December 16, 2011

Thomas Kincade Would Not Approve.

The most magical, mystical, and maniacal season is upon us. Christmas. Love it or hate it, it is here and there is no escaping it. I kind of want to, though.

Things that really move me during this season? Divine Love. Twinkling lights. Hope. Birth. Giving. Frosty windshields, and Santa Speedo Runs. Cuddling by the Christmas tree. Gingerbread houses. The feeling of being warmed from the inside out, of feeling full...full of life, contentment, celebration, and love. Babies and toddlers in winter clothes with pacifiers and rosebud cheeks. Rudolph noses. Surprises. Electric blankets. My friends in my home, drinking wine and dreaming up adventures. Egg nog. Trader Joe's Peppermint Sandwich Cookies. Elf. Creating new traditions. A kitchen filled with laughter and happiness.

Things that really annoy me? Traffic. Pressure. Mild depression. The expectation to give beyond our means coupled with the intense personal desire to do so. Extra work. Distraction. Exhaustion. Artificial cheer. People being mean to store clerks and retail staff. Impatience, both my own and others'. Feeling like I am not enough, and I will never be able to give enough. The Christmas Retail Machine. Fruitcake. Sugar EVERYWHERE. Christmas episodes on TV. Santa Baby and Christmas Shoes. Thomas Kincade Christmas scenes.

As a kid, I always felt a keen mix of joy and discontentment during this season. As an adult, I still feel that way. No resolution here, just a conscious admission of what is. I find myself wanting a wonderful Christmas experience and then simultaneously wanting to check out and medicate with technology or food or general busyness because it just seems like SO MUCH EFFORT to pull it off every year. And every year I decide that it's not going to be hectic and stressful, that I will give what I can give and I will be okay with that, even if it's a disappointment to others. And every year I beat myself up for not sticking to my resolution. This year is no different. I want to disconnect. I want to give too much. I want everything to be blissful and picture perfect. I want it all to stop.

This year, I'm throwing out the traditions that I don't like or agree with, or that just don't fit. I'm letting myself off the hook for gift giving, and not going to feel guilty because we are kinda broke right now and can't help it. I'm not going to put Christmas on a credit card, or sell something I love just to appease my guilt over NOT giving.

I'm choosing to connect to what this season is about for me: Celebrating new Life. A tremendous gift given in the most humble of ways and the most unlikely situation. Love without condition or expectation of return. Family. A husband who loves me and who I genuinely enjoy doing life with. My family who grounds me, pushes me, and calls me daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. Unexpected gifts of memory-making and moments we will never touch again, but become golden in the passing of time. My health. Our home. Gratitude for what I have in this moment, instead of being hyper-aware of the stuff I don't have that I want, or the discontentment with the stuff I have that I no longer want.

I'm setting fire to the silly Thomas Kincade Christmas Village in my head, and building a new village full of the people I love, the God who is Love. This is real life. This is what I can give.

It is enough.

I am enough.

We have enough.