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The holiday season is so busy. Sometimes I am not the biggest fan. My favorite part about Christmas isn’t the presents under the tree. In fact, I don’t usually put presents under the tree until Christmas morning. My favorite part of Christmas is the people. I love getting together with friends and family, visiting, enjoying people’s company. That’s what I look forward to more than anything during the holidays. Problem is, it seems I am so busy getting ready for the holidays, that by the time I get to Christmas day, I’m ready to be done and move on to other things. I don’t think this is how it should be.

This year I have tried to slow down a bit. I got my Christmas shopping mostly done early, a few presents here and there for family here locally the last few days, but everything that had to be shipped was gone by Dec. 16. That was a huge relief! I also decided that for a lot of the family I would try to buy from small businesses, and that I would enjoy my browsing. I have done so, and found some pretty cool Christmas presents that I don’t think I would have happened upon had I been in a rush, or not made a concerted effort to stop by many local gift shops.

Presents are awesome of course but being present is what I have decided to focus on this Christmas season. Has it always worked? No, I have found myself frustrated with the hustle and bustle more than once this season. But I have tried to slow down and breathe. Today my son asked me if I would play a board game with him. I caught myself feeling rushed, like I didn’t have time to do that. But then I stopped and realized what I was doing, sat down, and played a game with him. It was a much-needed mental adjustment this afternoon, and I am so grateful he asked me to play. I was able to slow down and be present. I was still able to accomplish what I wanted to, as well as paint for a little while this afternoon. It was nice to slow down and breathe and I am grateful that my son came and asked me to play, he was a great reminder of what I should be focusing on.

I am grateful this Christmas season to have had the opportunity to slow down, to relax, and to enjoy the world around me as it’s passing by, because the world will pass us by whether we are paying attention or not. I am grateful for so many wonderful people I know and have met this season as well, who have added to the joy of my Christmas this year. What have you done to slow down, or if it’s been super crazy, what are you doing to make the season bright in your life? I would love to hear your ideas.

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