When I dig a little deeper into that sadness, that reluctance, I think of a few things I love about our celebration of Christmas this year:
- I love the way the house looks decorated for Christmas
- I like the sense of celebration
- I enjoy my own renewed dedication to the sacraments and my faith practices
- I enjoy the break from so much running around to appointments and "kid stuff"
- I treasure hearing from people with whom I am rarely in touch
- I relish (tee-hee) preparing special meals (and feasts!)
- I love the candles and theme of "light in the darkness"
- I focus more on altruism
The question then becomes, how can I create this at other times? Thinking aloud, here is my short list of ideas:
- Do something decorative in the house each month. For example, this month I'm going to put some plants on the shelf behind where the Christmas tree now stands.
- Have dinner in the dining room with the china every weekend
- Continue attending daily mass and my morning practices which include meditation, scripture reading and journaling. (I have actually already spent time with the calendar and three different parish bulletins to make this a reality. I'm so blessed to live where I have 5 parishes within 15 miles of me!)
- Consider what "running around" I can let go of; re-institute weekly "no driving" days.
- Weekly, write a note (or last resort, an email) to someone who matters to me.
- Keep the candles around and light them. Light the fireplace. Gather the family. Enjoy! Savor!
- Do a better job of keeping the holy water full. The kids love it!
- Like at Christmas, making a family effort, at least monthly to give a gift of time, talent or treasure to someone in need. Right now, in fact, I know a family who could use some meals.
My task now -- right now, in fact -- is to calendar these items so that they actually occur. Even if I need to reschedule them, they will remain in mind.
It can't be Christmas every day but I can keep the spirit alive in our home and in me. I want the feast days to stand out -- to be a contrast to every day life -- but they don't have to be as much of a contrast as they have been. I remember as a child, things of faith -- primarily sitting in church -- seemed like work to me. I want to bring more of the joy of our faith into our home; I want the kids to have the "fun" of it, so to speak.
If you have any ideas on keeping the spirit of Christmas alive in your home, please share!