Christmas has come and gone now. All the planning, gifting, stressing and wrapping and cleaning is done.
I determined to clean up Christmas, not the day after, but the day after that. I woke up early and made my way downstairs for a cup of tea and motivation. As I came down the stairs and rounded the corner, the Christmas sparkle caught my eye. All the glitter and shiny things. The festive colors and pretty decor I had taken two weeks to put up and arrange just so.
And with the visual came the emotional. The feelings of excited dread as I pulled out the bins to decorate our new place. The lack of the familiar spots and doorways of my old house threw me a bit. I had to, got to, find a new way to do the same old thing.
I wiped down the bins taking off a year of storage and travel and cracked them open. To my delight, I found not just “the same old stuff”, but my thrifty self had purchased things at the after Christmas sales last year 😉 Woot for cute new stuff! It ended up being just the catalyst I needed to jump in, figuratively that is, to the Christmas decorating fun.
I have to be honest with you, I have not enjoyed Christmas for several years now. The obligatory gift giving, whining, money bleeding down the drain and messes had turned warm fuzzies to cold dread.
This year, 2018, a major move, a new place, forgiving my self for things that I absolutely cannot change (at least with out a time machine….). Feeling, perhaps for the first time since I was a little girl, that I am good enough and smart enough and I could actually start something I have only dreamed about, CHANGED ME.
And I let it, I rode the wave so to speak.
I heard a speaker recently tell a little story about Cows and Buffalo, It’s relevant I promise!!
There was a big field in which were kept both a herd of cattle and a herd of buffalo. As it happened one day, storm clouds began to roll in. The cattle and the buffalo got restless as the thunder sounded and lightning streaked the sky.
As the storm moved over the two herds they reacted in VERY different ways. The Cattle ran from the rain and the noise trying to escape the rain.
The Buffalo herd, however, ran INTO the storm.
The Cattle, in their fear, tried to avoid the storm and as a result, ended up not only caught in it but continued to STAY in it. Un-able to escape as they ran WITH it.
They ran with it.
The Buffalo herd turned INTO the storm and ran together THROUGH it. Their time in the storm, while scary and uncertain, was so much shorter.
I have been the Buffalo this year and it is somewhat embarrassing to admit that for a long time I was a scared cow, feeling tossed around by circumstance and life. Somehow, I did not see the power I had to face the storm and grow from it.
Fast forward to this Christmas, I have found so much joy and satisfaction in creating and living IN my life.
I sat for a long time staring at the decorated Christmas tree. Looking at the shiny lights. It must have been more than an hour. The kids wandered through the room, looked at me sitting down with my tea and asked me what I was doing. Each time I responded that I was taking down the Christmas decorations.
I have spent the last day pondering why I could not simply get moving and get the job done. In a way, I was saying good bye.
Good bye to who I used to be, who my family used to be. The busy, scared, stopped by my own irrational fear me. I was enjoying the feelings of togetherness, of mine and my families accomplishments and growth.
This Christmas, after I made my peace with my past self, a meaningful gift settled in to my soul and I thanked God for it as I sat there.
I did take down the ornaments, a few at a time. I laid them out and wrapped them up and put them away with care, anticipating next year when I will get to do it again.
I took a picture of the empty tree, lights the only thing left and thought it was beautiful.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and May your Winter be Wonderful!!
“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”