Written by contributor writer Meghan Ervine
Oh it’s that time of year again! The snow is falling, families are coming together, the smell of delicious baked goods is wafting in your kitchen, holiday music plays around every corner, and you’re trying to find the perfect gift for the ones you love. The idea of the holidays can truly be magical and full of wonder. But then the reality of all you have to do comes crashing down on you and you feel so incredibly overwhelmed. Soon that to-do list looks a mile long and that holiday music, doesn’t sound so full of cheer any more.
When did the holidays become about trying your best to battle it out in the midst of chaos and just wishing the days away so you can take a breath and relax? We end up jumping through a million little hoops, from one to the next, and it never ends. Eventually, we become obsessed with thinking about all we have to do that it becomes just about ourselves. I have to get this done, I need to buy this gift, and I need to make this the perfect, most special holiday. We become consumed with looking for more, looking for that something special, this idea of a perfect holiday that ultimately doesn’t matter and isn’t exactly realistic.
But my friends, it is okay to believe in the magic of the holiday and to want to just enjoy time with friends and family, but it doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t have to be exhausting and it doesn’t have to be about us.
Right in front of us
Maybe that’s just it, instead of making the holidays about us and checking everything off of our long list, we make it about others. This could be focusing on the friends, family and loved ones we spend our time with. And we wouldn’t have to be constantly searching for that more because maybe everything we really desire, is right in front of us.
In the moments of laughter, dancing to holiday music, and reuniting with friends and family we haven’t seen awhile. These are the moments that bring us joy and peace in the chaos of the holiday season; these are the moments we have been desperately looking for in all the wrong and materialistic places.
I truly believe that is the greatest gift we can have during the holiday season, and can be the greatest gift of our hearts. To feel loved, to feel known and to feel safe in the warmth of the loved ones that surround you. The loved ones, that if were being honest, we often take for granted. The holidays are made up of so many little, special, messy, imperfect moments. We often miss these moments because we are so preoccupied with making everything as crisp and clean as the beautiful wrapping on our presents.
But that’s what life’s about isn’t it?
The little, messy, beautifully imperfect moments that makes us who we are, and at the same time are so splendidly wonderful. These are the moments that also make up the holidays. If we could just learn to be fully present in these flawed moments and if we could learn to embrace them I believe we would become so thankful for what we do have, and would stop manically searching for what we don’t. Then we can take that love, joy and gratitude we feel and pass it along to others, even strangers we don’t know, who just need a helping hand. The people we often overlook or forget about. Those who are in need and maybe don’t have anything this holiday season, including loved ones. It could be our chance to open our scope and truly see into the lives of others.
Oh it’s that time of year again! But let’s be intentional about making the holidays different this year. Yes, enjoy the baked goods, the holiday music and the loved ones who surround you, those are all incredibly wonderful things. But please, don’t forget about being present in the moment you are in whether things are going the way your checklist has planned or something unexpected and messy happens. Don’t forget to stop and look around, take each beautiful day as it comes, and be thankful for what you do have this holiday season. There is so much joy to be found, if you only look at what’s right in front of you.