We are in the thick of it – holiday cocktails with co-workers, gift-buying and wrapping, Christmas music humming in every store, concerts, carriage rides and photos with Santa. You name it, we are doing it. But are we missing it? The other day I drove by a quiet little spot in Lakewood where ducks gather on a creek. Steam was coming off the water on this particularly chilly morning. The sun was beginning to peek through the trees. I had just dropped my kids off at school, and I thought about continuing on. But something made me pull over to photograph this peaceful, quiet scene. Cars zoomed by as I crossed the road to the creek. While taking the photos, I thought, “We are missing it. We are so busy getting to the next thing, that we can’t see the beauty right under our noses.” The ducks on the steamy water were oblivious to the frenzy around them. I paused, and I got what I needed, a reminder that I don’t have to rush, and, if I do, I might miss the beautiful bits life gives us in unexpected moments and places like this.
Do you feel a little down on Christmas day? I do, and now I understand why. It is a single day, which for our family includes brunch, presents, music and mayhem… and then it’s over. Huh. One day could never live up to a one-month buildup of lights, music and parties. Remember in A Charlie Brown Christmas where Charlie Brown screams at Lucy, “That’s it!!!” when she diagnoses his problem? That is what it felt like when it finally hit me. Christmas isn’t December 25. Christmas is right now and all the days leading up to the 25th. I have been missing that key piece of understanding, so it is no wonder I have felt let down on the actual day.
Christmas is all of the things you love to do this time of year. For me, it includes quiet moments by the tree listening to music. Last year I started receiving Better Homes & Gardens as an extra gift to something I purchased. My favorite part of the magazine is the editor’s letter, beautifully penned each month by Stephen Orr. His letter for the December issue reminded me of another part of Christmas I’ve always loved: the gift-buying. He wrote, “I still think planning what to buy, shopping for it, wrapping it beautifully, and finally giving it are some of the greatest pleasures of the holidays.” That’s it!
As you are rushing to and fro in these final days before Christmas day, pause and be aware you are in it right where you are, right now. This is Christmas. Don’t miss it.
Photos of me by Peg Evans of Dog Mom Dallas on Instagram.