Monthly Musing – December 2019 – Counting Christmases
It’s a rainy Friday afternoon not long before Christmas and I’m feeling quite grumpy about the whole thing. There are cards to write, presents to wrap, presents to buy, food to organise … and that’s on top of everything else that doesn’t stop just because it’s Christmas. I look at small daughter, bursting with the agony of waiting another couple of weeks until Christmas Day and wonder where my sense of excitement and anticipation has gone.
I know that I didn’t always feel like this. I know that Christmas never used to feel like something else to squeeze into an already hectic calendar. I also know that Christmas always happens on the same day every year and if I was just a bit more organised, I could have done everything earlier. After all, it’s not a surprise that Christmas is coming!
And that’s it, isn’t it? Christmas comes every year. Just one day in a short holiday period and then it’s gone. Once the wrapping paper is recycled and the decorations are down, that’s it for another year. Less than 365 days to wait before the next Christmas Day – and who knows what will happen in that time?
If I’m lucky, I’ll see maybe eighty or so Christmas Days in my lifetime. Maybe more, maybe less, but if that’s a close estimate then I’m already over halfway through my quota which – when you think about it – is less than a quarter of the number of days in the year. That’s quite a sobering thought and it pulls me up short as I am muttering about writing Christmas cards. It’s the only contact we have with some people, who have lives equally as busy as ours but who manage to write a note on a card every year to let us know that they’re still around – and I am always glad to see the cards arrive every year so that I know that those people are, indeed, still around.
It’s entirely my choice to see the preparations as a chore, to grumble about them, to waste the opportunity of seeing the magic at this time of year – and it is always there, no matter how old we are – or I can remember that everything will eventually get done, that the world won’t stop if I don’t clear my to-do list before 25 December, and that the countdown to Christmas Day isn’t a countdown to something that I’m not going to enjoy. The only person making me feel grumpy over all of this … is me.
It’s amazing what a change in perspective can do, isn’t it? I had completely forgotten how few of these precious days we actually get in one lifetime, and I am not going to waste any of them. Life really is too short.
It’s a rainy Friday afternoon not long before Christmas and I’m feeling full of festive joy about the whole thing. There are cards to write, presents to wrap, presents to buy, food to organise … it’s going to be great!