[fusion_text]In the hustle and the bustle of the Christmas season it is easy to get caught up in the angst that so many carry with them.  The rush to get the “perfect” gift, the impatience when waiting in line to pay for “stuff” and the downright rudeness that so many people let loose while out Christmas shopping!

I tend to be a December shopper when it comes to the holidays because I kind of like the lights and music and smiles I see when out and about.  I try to choose times that are no quite so busy to avoid the crazy line-ups and temperaments that come along with them.   That said, this Christmas, although I still have a few gifts to purchase I am delighted to be surrounded by the innocence and wonder I get to see in my grandson’s eyes.  At 5 months, he is still trying to make sense of all the things that surround him and what may be somewhat familiar changes with the lights, trees and music of the season.

Spending time with Levon allows me to slow down (for now), put my phone down (but not far, in case I need a pic!!) and soak up the sounds of his breathing, his new little giggles and his constant curiosity about all that is around him.  I have found this Grandma thing to be full of messages and insights that, in the hustle and bustle of every day, much less the holidays, we often lose sight of.  At this stage of his life, my precious grandson fusses about things worthy of fussing about… food and sleep. Two of the necessities of life.  Everything else is a source of wonder.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we all only fussed when our “necessities” were not taken care of?

Seriously, if you are reading this, you more than likely have a roof over your head, a warm bed to sleep in, food on the table and family and friends who love you. And … there is always somebody else out there that you know directly who is less fortunate that you are right now.

My challenge for you is this … if you find yourself feeling anxious, frustrated or annoyed as you race like a maniac to get ready for the perfect Christmas, STOP.  Take a deep breath and remember, nothing is perfect … not even Christmas. 

Take a moment to look around you each time you feel the frustration building.

Are you trying to get all your baking done or impatiently waiting in a long line at the grocery store?  Take a deep breath and acknowledge the fact that you have the resources to not only put food on the table for you family, but also for extended family and friends if need be. There are so many who go hungry in our own communities that we don’t even see.

Are you at home, agitated about all the things on your to-do list while you are madly wrapping presents? Take a deep breath and acknowledge you have the resources to buy gifts and wrap for those you love.  Take pleasure in that activity and think about the person you are “creating” your package for.  So many can neither afford to give a gift or will even receive a gift this year.

Are you so furious that you must wait in line to purchase a collection of small fragrant gifts for a friend, an office party or someone special, that you yell and scream at other customers also waiting in line?  (Seriously, my friend witnessed this just the other day!!) Come on!  I don’t even know what to say here … if you have been or know that person, it’s time to step back, take a really deep breath and take stock of why you are in the lineup in the first place.  Clearly you have the means to purchase this gift, but the spirit with which it is being purchased is so out of alignment with the meaning of the gift itself.  I can’t even imagine buying a gift for someone when I’m angry.

For those of us in the colder climates, have you let the change in weather from dry and cool to winter blasts of snow and ice affect your mood and therefore your driving? Just as we appreciate the wonders of spring, the heat in the summer and the colour changes in the fall, winter can be another source of wonder, beauty and potential danger.  It’s time to take it seriously and plan for outings.  Notice and enjoy the kids outside making forts and snowmen, take your time getting from one place to another and acknowledge that every other driver out there is dealing with the same sloppy stuff.  If everyone ventured out in anger our roads would be an even bigger mess!  And by the way?  You have the comfort of your own car to get you from home to wherever you need to be and back again.

Yes, he’s only five months, yet Levon sets a wonderful example for me this time of year.  When our real needs are met, life is good.  There is time to laugh, to learn, to love and to be loved.  Time spent fussing or complaining is time we never get back.

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snowflake Over to YOU!

This holiday season, take as many moments as you can to wonder and appreciate all that you have, all that you can give and all that you receive.

Find reasons to s-l-o-w down so you can truly appreciate and enjoy the season. Sometimes the weather stops us from going out … a perfect reason to cozy up and just be.

If you have food, shelter, warmth and love … don’t fuss about anything else.

Look for things to wonder about … be curious … find reasons to laugh.

Prepare your meals and sweets with love and be proud of your contribution to the feast and festivities.

Have FUN shopping! Take delight in the ability to buy something special for someone.

Expect the crowds, smile at the people around you and wish them a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays or a simple “Have a great day!”.

This is a fabulous time of year for random act of kindness – buy a stranger a coffee.

Gift, your leftovers (from home or from a night out on the town) to the homeless or a person in need near you. Leftovers mean you have more than enough … it’s always a great time to share.

With love and grace from my family to yours,



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