December 21st

Three days left till Christmas and still I want to:

-do the final stitching on totes
-ice gingerbread
-package up sweet goods
-make two pairs of pajama pants
-sew a yoga bag
-finish wrapping
-prepare a special dinner for tomorrow night
-write cards
-post off packages
-pack my bags for Tuesday (when I am off off into the country!)
-get some good sleep
-find time to enjoy the late summer evenings and having my family back from their travels!

Now you know I am a crazy list writer- but the real question is not whether any of that list can be achieved but whether it really matters in the end. I'm thinking it doesn't matter too much if I don't sew pajama pants or ice gingerbread (even though they're fun things to do). It probably wouldn't make much difference whether we ate a seven course meal or just a bowl of soup tomorrow night because its about being with all my family before I leave them for the first time for Christmas somewhere else. No - what matters most is that I stop to reflect on the things that matter most; family, love, faith. Christmas is a perfect time for getting caught up in all the making and buying and wrapping and doing and general busyness. Of course, giving gifts is special and its a way of thanking someone for being in your life but its easy to get caught up in the gift itself - not why we give.

Right now - an overwhelming sense of calm has ebbed away at my stress and anxiety and I am feeling much freer, much more relaxed than I was 20 minutes ago. Yes, mediating on what matters most is the only necessary thing to do.

p.s. the little ceramic nativity set photographed above was brought back by my parents on their honeymoon in New York - its from the Cathedral of St. John the Devine - "A house of prayer for all people" (I want to visit it one day - when I get over to that land of the Americas). Every year, without fail, we put out this little set and laugh at the expressions of the extra smiley angel and the googly eyed sheep.