Thursday, December 22, 2011

Be Here Now

In the chaos of the holiday season, it's easy to get stressed and rushed and feel like everything is a hassle.  There are facebook and blog posts complaining about how hectic everything is, and how much still needs to be done to get ready for the holidays.  In the stores, people are trying to buy last minute gifts and everyone seems rushed and on edge.  I get it.  I feel the pressure of the holidays as well, and I have been known to fixate on how much needs to be done in the weeks leading up to Christmas (the holiday my family celebrates) to the point that I just feel stressed and anxious.  In the past, I worried so much about everything being perfect that I failed to see the beauty of the season.  I think that's a problem many of us have.

This year, I have been conscious of my stress levels and vowed to relax and let the season unfold as it will.  I remind myself each day that it's the whole season, not just one day that makes it so wonderful.  It's the random Sunday afternoons watching Christmas movies with my kids, camped out on the living room floor with big bowls of popcorn (with Bragg's amino acids and nutritional yeast...try's amazing!).  It's the pleasure of finding gifts for friends and family members that are meaningful.  It's the fun chaos of a house full of kids decorating Christmas cookies.  It's buying gifts for families in need and watching as my children begin to understand the value of giving back to our community.  It's eating too much sugar and chocolate and drinking too much wine, knowing that January will start with a Clean Food Challenge.  It's everything about the season.  Unfortunately, so many people get so caught up in the chaos that they move through the weeks without noticing the small things.  They don't take time to breathe in the moments that make the holidays what they are.  They are so focused on the end result that they are unable to enjoy the individual moments and events.  I'm making sure I stay in the moment this year, and it's making all the difference.  After all, I get to actually enjoy moments like this:

Every year, the Holiday Train travels through different towns.  At each stop, Santa passes out candy canes and a band plays Christmas songs.

This is the bird's nest she found in the branches of the Christmas tree we cut down.  There were actually two for each kid. 



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