Are you feeling the holidays?

“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”~William Shakespeare, English poet

Today is December 25.

Tomorrow is December 26. We’re driving to my in-laws that day. Yesterday was December 24, and Friday was December 23. Christmas, and the holidays in general, are just dates on a calendar this year.

This is not some “pity me because the season sucks” post, but I am not in the joyous tidings spirit. Part of it is my house. Since our house is on the market, we don’t have any decorations up: no tree, no lights inside or out, no wreath, and no two-foot musical snow globe. That last one is my husband’s favorite decoration. It is spending the holidays in our storage unit alongside the tree, three totes of decorations and our folded artificial tree.

I added the simple touch of an elf hat on a lit glass block. I bought Christmas kitchen towels at the dollar store, along with fabric placemats. My husband did his part to add spirit. He brought home a traditional incense smoker house from his trip to Frankfurt. He bought a tabletop pine tree for me and nuts. “People have nuts at Christmas,” he said, so we have a tub of fresh, unsalted mixed nuts.

It’s not just the house. I hear people at work and in coffee shops talk about the plans they have to do. They have to buy the beef for Christmas dinner. They have to wrap presents. They have to bake cookies. There is so much rush in the preparation that I wonder if anyone stops to enjoy the moments.

Fewer houses are lit up in the neighborhoods. Less money was donated when my husband and I rang a shift for the Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign. Not many people say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” unless it’s an afterthought at the end of a sentence as they rant a tirade about what they have to do. There’s not as much joy around me, so there’s less joy in me.

I’m sure next year will be more festive when we set up our displays in our new house, but this year has made me realize just how busy people are. Take a moment this day to breathe, look around and savor that homemade Snickerdoodle cookie. Find some joy in yourself and pass it along.

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