Friday, December 7, 2012

The Holidays: Simple and Slow

 I've always loved the holiday season, and in years past (particularly while I worked on Wall Street), I was quite organized and had a schedule of when I'd make fruitcake (really misunderstood food), send out holiday cards, and craft my little heart out.  But it's gotten harder and harder to find the time or frankly, the energy to plan or even conceive the narrative arc of my holidays.  I had a lot more time when I worked on Wall Street.

Anyway, I was unnecessarily starting to worry that Christmas would whiz by and leave me discombobulated on the side of the road.  I think that not having a lot of things to make for gifts this year has left me worried that I've forgotten something (as opposed to having made the decision that I don't need to throw myself into the craftory* this season).  But I realize that if I slow down and just take notice, the things I love about the holidays are revealing themselves around me.  So, when I saw this post on the Alabama Chanin blog on Wednesday, I thought - hey, that could be an easy gift to make for someone - and got excited.

Yesterday was St. Nikolaus Day.  I used to call it the "appetizer" to Christmas Eve (when we traditionally open our gifts).  Unfortunately, I've let it slide, remembering at the last minute but then being too rushed/busy/whatever to get my act together and find a little something for my ladyfriend and our boy.**  However, the love still abounds, and my ladyfriend surprised me yesterday with this:

A bunny bowl!
I love bunnies!
Then today, I get an email telling me that rather than charge me for the skein I needed to finish my sweater (oh, another lost blog post; wait for the finished sweater), the knitter was just sending it to me free of charge.  Yes, free.  As in, "I just want to give you an unexpected gift," and quite honestly, I'm a little overwhelmed by that simple gesture.

So I'm thinking about the simple gestures, and I'm working to slow down and not get ahead of myself.  The house is a mess, I've got a ton of grading to do, and it's 11am and I'm still in my robe.  Everything will sort itself out one way or another.  Today we're getting our Christmas decorations out, and tomorrow we're getting a tree.  Simple.  One thing at a time.

*Craftory:  Craft factory one finds themselves slaving away in during all free hours of the holiday season in an effort to complete projects on time.
**Thankfully one can always send money to their child.  It's a little weirder to give your partner $50 (hah!).

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