Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Season of Light

Over the past few years, I don't know when it started, but I began to feel a shift in how I approach the Holidays (which really means, 'Holy Days'). I used to make every effort to try and get all my handmade cards and extensive Christmas letter out not long after Thanksgiving. Certainly by mid-December. I'd shop for all my nieces and nephews and their parents and I'd start a few months before so that I would have most of it done by December. When I was in my 20's and early 30's, a lot of things were hand made. Oh, my! To have that kind of energy again...

But, it IS wearisome, all that shopping, card and gift giving, baking for friends and neighbors. By the time Christmas Day arrives (in spite of all the long range planning), I, like so many others are weary from the process. All my intentions of reflecting during the Advent Season never happened. So much for good intentions in trying to stay connected to the spirit of the season. So, a few years ago, I applied my 'babies won't die if' perspective to my approach to the season. I pared down my card list. It's only a third of what it used to be. I shop for very few and, in fact, I turned into a complete rebel at not making it a point to get things in the mail so that they arrived by Christmas Day. After all, there ARE twelve Days of Christmas and they start on Christmas Day. So, that is now my approach. Get it done when it gets done. I have until the 12th Day of Christmas and even if I go past it, babies won't die, will they? 

In the meantime, I now find time to start each day with reading and reflecting of the upcoming celebration. I feel as though I've shifted gears on what I invest my time in. How did we ever let it get so out of control, so super-sized? So secular? We did. I now find myself trying to recover the sacred aspects instead.

I will say that I enjoy having Christmas dinner at home. I enjoy making the meal, making it special with all the planning and shopping that goes with it. I enjoy inviting a few friends to join us as we spend a lovely evening together. I do make it a point to keep the crowd small so that it is manageable for me. The guest list is never the same from year to year. Here's my menu (the drink list is a selection-we don't all plan on drinking every single one!):

Dinner at the Scott's House 2013

Even though this is the darkest day of the year, know too, that it is the turnaround point where the days will now start to get longer. Whatever it is that you find yourself doing, I hope this season of light is meaningful to you. I hope that it is special. I hope that it does feel different than the rest of the 364 days of the year. Even if you've been recently faced with incredible challenges, I hope that you can find that silver lining in the cloud and keep your eyes on it. I'll be thinking of each of you and hoping that this season of light fills your hearts and your homes.

Mele Kalikimaka.

Come join us every week, as a group of us from around the world post our shadow shots over at Shadow Shot Sunday 2. Entertain your muse and be amused by stopping by to see what others have posted!


Magical Mystical Teacher said...

May light be with you, both in season and out of season---at all times!

Ralph said...

We don't do holiday cards like we did when our grown children were little - those were fun! It is so true that giving is the true reason for Christmas as God provided the perfect and holy gift of our Savior Jesus. We just need to give from the heart and forget about the commerciality of the day...

Love your menu! I'm imagining a gorgonzola horseradish sauce (sharp and sharper :), coconut cake and ginger cognac. Your special guests and your family will be giving each other a most wonderful gift of being together on such a special day...Merry Christmas!

Sylvia K said...

Like you and others, my holiday "stuff" has been pared way down, but the joy of the season has not changed because the love and the joy of life -- in my life has only gotten deeper and expanded more! May you have a very Merry Christmas, Paula, and a wonderful new year!!

Kathe W. said...

Doing what feels comfortable is a gift you have given yourself! Good for you and what time is dinner? We'll be right over!
Merry Christmas!

Leovi said...

Yes, a nice christmas ball, so reflect your great picture!
Very nice!
Thank you very much! I wish you a happy holiday!

MyMaracas said...

What a thoughtful, beautiful post, and one that I kinda needed today. It's so easy to get overwhelmed this time of year, and to forget to reflect on the meaning of the season.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

PS - Your dinner sounds fabulous!

robin. said...

the older I get the more my way of living has come to this too. slow down and enjoy. don't try so hard and end up disappointed. LOVELY post!! and yes! that is a Christmas tree farm in my back yard. it use to be open fields when I was a child, but mom and dad sold off 30 acres before my husband and I bought this house. i prefer the open fields of my childhood...
Merry, Merry Christmas Paula!!

Gemma Wiseman said...

The Christmas season does have a commercial hype that no one really enjoys. Too much duty involved. I too have slowed down my Christmas pace and enjoy it so much more.
May the light of the season be with you.

BLOGitse said...

We don't have any stress or shopping this time of the year. We enjoy life while others go mad shopping.

Happy Holidays!
See you next year!

Chubskulit Rose said...

When I was still in my country, Christmas is basically Holy Days but coming here it shifted, it's so commercialized over here and I miss the old ways!

Merry Christmas from my Family to Yours!


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