If ever a product’s debut was seasonally appropriate for certain people who feel under-endowed in the holiday spirit department, Badger’s Cheerful Mind Balm is it. Made of sweet orange, lemon, rosemary, spearmint, neroli, ylang ylang, and cinnamon essential oils, it’s meant to be massaged into the temples, hands, forehead “or anywhere you need a little soothing.”
I tend toward being one of those people. I miss the absolute magic of believing in Santa Claus. I miss feeling abundantly blissed out by the gifts that appeared under the tree. I miss believing it was Santa when my dad went downstairs to “catch Santa on his way up the chimney,” and not my dad saying “ho, ho, ho.”
But. I realized yesterday that I do like the holiday season–as a season, not a high-speed log flume ride that dumps us right into an explosion of THE HOLIDAY CLIMAX. Of course that feels overwhelming, and then anticlimactic.
This year, I’m doing the 12 days of Christmas with the kids. Each morning, they get something to play with–usually something they share. It has been so low-key, lovely and delightful. It’s even been nice to wake up at 5:30am (when they pop out of bed)–because we have more time to enjoy the morning.
It even worked that way when we decided to decorate the tree. Instead of it being a micromanaged, overly pressured/precious event, we took out the tree, started to set it up, and then went to a birthday party. We came back, and I had a bad stomach flu that lasted for a good 16 hours, so I let the kids put ornaments on themselves. Um, yeah. They LOVED it. And I was flat on my back in bed, the weight of the sickness smothering my gross Martha Stewart overly-controlling Christmas-tree-decorating shadow side. I noticed that it was a relief to let go of that. Big time.
So, decorating the tree took about four or five days. It was slow, and thoughtful, and had this great organic energy–Nathaniel decided to put the soccer-playing Santa near another ornament who seemed prime to receive his pass, and made other relationships between the ornaments, too. Overhearing his spoken thought process while he did this was priceless.
I’m dreaming of a non-neurotic Christmas…sans mantles of old baggage, acquired expectations, and general bah humbuggery. Amen to things shifting…even when we only have a mustard-seed’s sized amount of optimism and hope that they will. That’s all it takes.
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