Holidays for Everyone

Next week comes Christmas. It’s a big deal where I live. We set aside this time to appreciate and delight each other.

Somehow, my attention is focused on all the other things that need to be DONE. FINE, I’ll give you a list of presents I would like to receive. Oh NO, I need to create a list of presents my daughter wants. Look at the calendar! I am SO BEHIND.

All this for the Christmas morning. The morning of preparation and delight and surprising each other and being surprised.

I caught myself thinking that kids have the best of it. That I have to lose sleep and work to remember all the things.

Last weekend I found myself crawling away from things every chance I got, burying myself in a new book.

It was a really good book.

And I would read as far as I could, then pop up when I had to (usually a bit late) and rush to do the next MANDATORY thing.

By Sunday night I felt impossibly behind and resentful. Kids have the best of Christmas I thought. I’d heard this sentiment before. I sat down to eat dinner, since I’d barely eaten all day. Of all the innumerable things I had NOT done and still had to do, how was I going to finish my weekend?


I could have wrapped myself in my book again. I had stayed up too late the night before because it was so fascinating. It didn’t feel good anymore. I regretted the loss of sleep.

What did I WANT to do?

I ended up putting my headphones on, and closing my door to be alone. Me. Alone. I would wrap presents.


Such a small thing, to ask myself what I wanted. Isn’t that what Christmas is supposed to be about? Wishing? Wanting?

I had told myself that wanting was for other people, and that I didn’t have time to ask myself what I wanted.

I decompressed, and felt really good about wrapping all the presents I had already bought my family. I DID want this Christmas to be a certain way, and I had made most of it happen already.

It was also ok for me to want things for me. Delight and surprise. I surprised myself to discover I just wanted to get something ordinary things done, uninterrupted. It felt good.


I am willing to give thought to what else I might want. Maybe next year I’ll go get them.