Do you have Christmas Eve traditions? Ours have changed over the years, but I know I’ll be making the dough for our traditional holiday cinnamon rolls. I’ll have lovely help this year—the tiny hands that actually made a much more perfect roll than mine on Thanksgiving. My three-year-old granddaughter was apparently born to bake!
This year the holiday season has been insane at my house. Things happen that put everything else on hold. In fact, on the Monday of Thanksgiving week, I realized Thanksgiving was coming because my daughter told us when she and her family would arrive for a few-days’ visit.
I’ve learned a lesson this year from the not-nice things that have happened, and I’m about to write a blog of true confession. I believe firmly in finding joy. I tend to feel anxious that the worst can happen, so day-to-day in my life, I look for joy as an antidote. That’s been tricky this year because I’ve had to balance what must be done against what I’d like to do. My house is–chaotic. I’m trying to finish a revision I should have completed many weeks ago. I love the release of the Christmas Town stories, but this year, I did the Facebook launch party from beside a hospital bed. (Everything’s fine. Just stressful.)
So–this is my Hanukkah/Christmas gift this year because we celebrate both holidays at our house. This season is full of light and warmth and joy and family. And I’m really grateful to have my family.
This year, my Christmas Eve tradition includes the usual—looking for carolers around the lighted tree in the local shopping center and the Santa at the courthouse that’s always in my head when I write about the one in Christmas Town. We’ll stop for a coffee at our favorite place. We’re already making lists and checking them over and over because I can’t keep track!
But also, I’m letting myself off the hook for all the things I should have done that I haven’t—that are way down the list of broken promises I’m specializing in. Because I have family, and I’m wallowing in being with them. If I have to mail a gift or card after the holidays, so be it. If that revision skids into January, I feel like a loser, but I’m good with that.
Because I’m going to hug my children and grandchildren and my husband, and I’m going to notice the crisp cold and the flash of colorful lights in the night sky outside our house, and I’m going to cling to the arguing and the laughter and the refusal to share that only toddlers can really perfect.
Choosing happiness is going to fill up our Christmas Eve, and I hope yours will be as deep in gratitude and joy as I am.