My Complicated Relationship with Christmas

Christmas and I? We go way back.

I remember being in 1st grade and swearing up and down to my parents that I heard Santa and his reindeer jingle past my room around 2am on Christmas morning.

I also remember waking them up only a couple of hours later at 4am only to be told that I needed to go back to bed until at least 6am.

Clearly, I had caught Christmas fever.

These days, my relationship with Christmas is a little more complicated.

As I got older, and then got married and had a kid, things changed quite a bit. And for some unknown, baffling reason I put an immense amount of pressure on myself during the holiday season. The house had to be spotless. I had to bake – and it had to be delicious. We had to listen to Christmas music while viewing beautiful displays of Christmas lights. We had to drink hot cocoa while we cheerily wrapped presents and decorated our tree. Each giftee had to LOVE their present and I had to buy all of them in one frantic, searching day via the internet.
And every single one these things had to be done joyously and with Christmas cheer.

Well, I say, screw that.

When I was young, Christmas was my absolute favorite holiday, but a few years ago, it started to become my least favorite. It was nothing but a giant ball of stress and pressure followed very closely by New Year’s Eve – another holiday I was stressing over – and then my birthday in early January. I started to dread the entire month of December and a little bit of January.

That’s when I happened upon Cheryl Richardson‘s marvelous post about the holiday season. She said:

“Relax and surrender to the magic of the season.  Let good enough be good enough.  Put your precious energy into enjoying time by yourself and with the people who matter most to your heart….Plans change. People dissapoint. Traditions expire. Release your expectations of the holidays and be open to surprise.”

You can read the full post here.

This little message changed my life and opened my eyes to the mountain of expectations I had poured onto myself to make the season ‘magical.’ It’s taken a few years of keeping these words posted in my room every holiday season, but I’m finally starting to heed it’s message and slow down. I even realized that I didn’t have to do all the Christmas shopping by myself and in one day this year!

And you know what? So far, it really has been a magical season.

Wishing you a happy and expectation-free holiday season! 😉

Bella has NO expectations for the holiday season. NONE.

Bella has NO expectations for the holiday season. NONE.

A Poet Responds to the Election

AN ELECTION RESPONSE

I sit here
in my room
alone.

Silently protesting.
Meditating.
Calling on Ghandi
and Mr. King.

I send out light
& love.

I see the fear
& I feel the sadness.

But there,
far in the distance,
I see a twinkle.
It’s warmth
draws me in.

I pull it closer
& it begins to expand.
The light is brightening
& growing larger
& larger
& even larger yet.
It is nearly full –
reaching its full capacity.

It explodes
into billions of dots of light.
It envelops me.
It holds me.
It comforts me
& strengthens me.

It is hope.
It is joy.
It is love.
It was here all along.
I just had to look for it.

Original sketch. Marker.

Original sketch. Marker.

© 2016. Angelle Conant. All Rights Reserved.

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