The end of the year is approaching and the talk in the halls is of what folks have and don't have done for Christmas. Strong ties to tradition surround the holiday. Family have certain expectations in mind when this time of year comes around. At the same time we're being told to not do so much. To slow down. To not stress over the year. It's a challenge to not be stressed when you're trying to figure out what to buy for folks for gifts and carry off an entertainment extravaganza when they all come over for the feast. All of this has to be fitted into schedules already packed with the usual brouhaha: work, school, friends, sports. We wonder how we'll get it all done, then by the end of the year when we can sit back and take a deep breath we realize we got it all done and survived another holiday without killing the dog for making off with the Christmas roast.
I've neglected some of the traditional things that are done during the holiday season. Christmas cards is one of the things that has fallen down in the ranks of things to be done. I'll pass out cards to those in the office but the cards to be mailed don't get out as early as they used to. Five years of singing Christmas concerts has pushed its way into the weekend I used to do it on. Another is Christmas baking. I would send out cookies and breads to family. What with health issues to consider, including my own, I've opted to take that out of the duties of the season. I don't put up lights anymore for just Christmas. I have some lights that have been strung up since the summer that give the front porch a welcome glow. And room considerations and time have put a stop to putting up a Christmas tree and decorations in the house.
But setting aside these things is not a sign of my getting Scroogish at this time of year. I do feel a pinge of guilt when I see how much folks have done, but it goes away when I think 'Why should I?' The cards will go out with my newsletter by New Year's. Gifts will be sent and while they will be a little late will still be appreciated. One less tree will be wasted. Good wishes will be given along with prayers for peace.
Traditions have a good place. They hold ourselves together with a common memory. What we do with those traditions is what makes us unique. The holiday will hold special meaning for everyone in different ways. Some people love the bustle and excitement. I love the peace and quiet. It's all good.
For all of you who are stopping by: may the last weeks of the year be joyous and calm for you and your families. Merry Christmas.