So far, this holiday season has been quite different than usual. For almost two weeks now, my shopping has been done. Last week, I entertained twice! Early last week, I worked diligently to purchase food, put the finishing touches on my holiday decor and make sure all the wrapping was complete so that I could enjoy hosting my first annual “Doe Day”. What is “Doe Day” you ask? It is what I decided to call a gathering of my closest friends- those wonderful women who have been a gift in my life for so many years. From noon to 4:00ish, my home was filled with laughter and joy as almost twenty women took time from their holiday preparations to share time together. What a joy it was to be able to host what I hope will become a tradition.
On Saturday, we had “Kiddie Christmas” at our house. With five adult children, we rarely are all together Christmas day. Consequently, we have decided to take time right before Christmas to pull all the kids and grandkids together…just our five and their spouses and children. Now that the grands are finally old enough, I decided to hire a photographer to take family photos during the first hour. Finally, I have picture of all of us together – a real Christmas gift for Mike and me. We mingled, played games with the kids, and spent several happy hours as a family. The gift of time together is about the only gift I really want at this point in my life.
On Sunday, I was tired from all the entertaining so what did I do? Relaxed for the better part of the day. Imagine that! Yesterday I simply putzed around the house, catching up on laundry and some housecleaning before preparing to meet friends for dinner. Today, I actually wrapped gifts with my sister for a young man who needed some help with this task.
I imagine many of you reading this are green with envy. I don’t blame you. I would have felt the same way a year ago when I was trying to juggle a full-time job, a large family and all the extra chores the holidays bring. Often instead of being filled with glee, I was frazzled and fatigued. Take heart…you are almost done. This time next week the shopping, wrapping, cleaning and cooking will be a memory. Slow down and pace yourself. Each age and stage has it’s joys and challenges. Enjoy today, be grateful for where you are in your life and remember to enjoy your family and friends. They are the true gifts of the season.