Tuesday, December 13, 2011

joy in the air

This time of year is often defined best by the word busy. I can see why it is so - for me it usually is so - but making time for the peace of the season is so wonderful.

Last weekend was a flurry of activity. Tom and I did some Christmas shopping for our families starting early Saturday morning. After the bulk of our shopping we perfected our list and made notes of things still to buy over a pitcher of margaritas. And as much as I wanted to continue shopping and just get it done, we stopped after lunch. Tom was starting to get sick, so we rented a movie, went home and lay on the couch. Tom dozed off and on, and I watched the movie and opened a box of wine. (why not?)

Slowing things down for a half day was just what I needed. Christmas - this whole holiday season - is not about bustling through the shopping malls, sitting in traffic, and buying gifts out of obligation. This time of year is about drinking a glass of wine on the couch, watching a movie, catching the twinkle of the Christmas tree out of the corner of your eye. It is about doing something for the people you love - whether that thing comes in a box with a bow or in a kind gesture that you aren't expecting. 

I don't have to tell you this, you already know.

I love this time of year. Yes, I am buying things for the people I love. I am going into stores and looking for just the right thing. I am making extra trips and extra stops and spending more money than I do in a typical month. But amongst all that purchasing and rushing, I am also appreciating the slow moments.

Sewing something special for someone that I love. Planning craft days with my sisters and mother for when we all convene in Maine next week (oooohhhh next week - the idea delights me!). Imagining what it will feel like to watch the snow fall down outside (oh I hope it snows!). Drinking hot tea. Planning to make coconut macaroons with chocolate ganache for coworkers. Getting Christmas cards in the mail from people more dedicated and timely than I.

With most of my gifts purchased, I am left with time to really enjoy the season. I love this time of year, I love this time of year.

Tonight, I spent hours sewing a gift. The smooth feel of the fabric in my fingers, and then the thickness and warmth of that fabric after adding the muslin layer and batting. The little imperfect stitches of love that I put into each little inch. The joy I have just looking at the fabric - so specially chosen for this exact project and this exact person.

And now, sewing machine up, roommate out, dog sleeping at my feet. Now, to drink a beer ever so slowly, to eat a toasted piece of homemade oatmeal bread, to listen to the silence of my house around me. Now, I put down Holidays on Ice (David Sedaris), and I make time to type to you. Surrounded by what I can only describe as a perfect peaceful presence, I implore you to find the same in your own life. After the busy and the hustle and bustle, take a moment to breathe in deep, and enjoy the spirit of the season that is around us.

We are so blessed. 

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