2009 flounced out in a flurry of snow and ice. In its wake, a rush of ideas has been flooding into my mind. I'm welcoming it as much as I'm welcoming the new year.
Like the snow, our holidays were soft and lovely, quiet and restful and--best of all--full of moments where my husband and I would look at each other and feel grateful to be in the moment of such magic. Ada and Esme are at the perfect ages to savor the anticipation of Santa, to wonder at the miracle of how he brings just the right thing, and to enjoy the simple gifts we share during Advent. Ada literally cheers when she gets to eat a candy cane!
This year was perhaps the first that I did not feel overwhelmed with the should-have-dones. I scrapped my big "make a perfect Christmas" list, and decided that just being calm might be the most important ingredient for a good Christmas.
A few years ago, I found myself in a puddly mess on December 17 or so, crying because with my overblown expectations--handmade doll clothes, perfectly wrapped gifts, 20 kinds of cookies to be baked and given to neighbors--there was just no way to do it all. Honestly, my mid-December breakdown was a repeat performance from the years before, too. So, to avoid the personal heartbreak, I decided in November to get ahead of myself and just cut the to-do list from my routine for the month. Things that could be done on a small scale--a candy cane for Advent, a new puzzle, or an afternoon spent making salt dough creatures--these were things I could swing. But with Esme in full-on curious 3-year-old mode, baking cookies by the dozen is beyond me at this point. I give. Say it with me: Kirie is not Martha. In fact, Martha is not Martha. She is Martha plus the legion of staff that is Martha Stewart Omnimedia.
The scale-back experiment paid off, and the holidays were as calm as they could be. And still, I found that the day after Christmas I was exhausted, my mind almost blank. It's a strange sensation for me to be without a plan for some new thing to do, something to work on. I took it for what it was: a rest. A time of going fallow for a little while, to just be.
And you know, on New Year's Day, I woke to the snow and the wind and the great sensation that a new and exciting year was blowing into the world. And like the snow-filled sky, my mind swirled, full of new ideas once again.
Happy 2010! May yours bring you delight.
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