In preparing for Christmas and this New Year – I have been so focused on where I want to be, my goals and aspirations, that I haven’t appreciated that where I am is pretty amazing. This time of year always inspires Christmas reflections and gratitude. Everything I have this year was once a dream, everything from writing this note, to where I am physically. I feel a debt of gratitude and recognition of what we have been able to build in the last twelve months. We have accomplished a lot this year. But before rushing to list those things I want to be present. Being here in whatever this suspended time of the year is for all of us.
The time and space after the build up to Christmas, the lull, and almost comatose vegging out of the week between Christmas and New Years. There is no need to purchase anything, we are dining on left-overs. We are hungover from all of the traditional social interactions and family gossip. Thinking about the year to come or not thinking at all. Watching too many Hallmark movies and just being still. What an absolute gift to ourselves. It is a joy to be able to rest and to feel no obligation to instruct, guide, or lead. We are simply present and maybe only vaguely aware – the days blend together and all of it melds peacefully into one restive blob.
This year I am grateful for our first year in our new home, I’m grateful for health, and I’m grateful for rest. I’m grateful that my family is here around me. I’m grateful we have each other and that we are able to celebrate the holidays together. Grateful for quiet afternoons, naps, and ease. I am grateful to myself for taking this time and not pressuring myself to be productive.
I am so grateful for relaxing family nights and the joy of sharing a family meal. I am glad for what we have and what we share. Every night this week we have prepared a meal from scratch. Some meals are more ornate and involved than others. But most are simple family recipes that are our own traditions. “Oh Christmas Bahn Mi,” and Grandma’s Chicken Parmesan.
These are delicious and filling meals that not only satisfy our need for dinner but will also make enough to freeze. This is a gift we give ourselves. Before we are in that zone of too much presents, food, and dessert we cook. That way when all we are seeking is a Christmas carrot – there will still be food prepared that requires no effort. We simply warm it up and we are nourished and satisfied. What a gift this time is to rest, relax and deeply nourish ourselves and our families.
We often spoil each other with gifts and treats. When really, the gift we all want is to watch an old movie, to rest and relax together. We want to be our honest and unguarded selves. Our only goal is to luxuriate in the slower pace and feel no obligation to rush, attend to, or show up for anyone or anything else. Just to simply be peaceful, easy, and home.
And maybe that’s what I’m writing about after all. These Christmas reflections are about finding home where ever we are and with whomever we choose. The creation of safety, peace, and security. The gift of protection, honesty, new traditions and old melding into the creation of home. We are grateful for building a life and space where everyone is loved and accepted exactly as they are and loved.
We are all so deeply loved and I don’t know what to call it. This may not even have a name but it feels safe, cozy, hygge, health, love, warmth, ease, peace, and tenderness. Whatever the German word for this is, I feel it deep in my soul. I am content and I am happy. This is all I’ve been looking for all my life, and here I have it. More than anything I hope you do too. Here in this virtual living room I hope you feel it. You are all so welcome here, I love you, I’m glad you came, let’s watch another movie.