While the winter weather may be going strong (it's bright and sunny out there today, 4 degrees, and the ground is white with snow) the Christmas decorations are beginning to disappear. In my home, the sparkle remains! The Christmas Tree & stockings have been taken down and packed away until next year.
But other Winter Decorations remain to remind me, my family, and visiting friends of the shine of the season. One of my favorites is my winter scene collection on the stairwell ledge.
It's especially pretty at night.
buffet in the dining room
Friends also bring lightness and a special glow to the season - just like the mercury glass ornaments lined up on my display cabinet
especially when surrounded by cheerful little winter birdies I received as special gifts from special friends.
There's just all this pressure to spend more than you can afford while constantly seeking out that 'perfect' gift; to be perpetually happy and full of good cheer, have the best Christmas decorations, the warmest hearth, the most traditional of holiday meals, the parties full of laughter and charm. . . and the magazines, Hallmark channel, and advertising suggestions go on and on.
Peel back these highly-pressurized, unrealistic expectations, the unattainable goals, and the refusal to max out the credit cards and do you know what is left? Precisely what should be left - however *YOU* want to celebrate December.
Whatever brings you joy while you're hurting from the loss of loved ones. Whatever makes you smile when you are unable to afford the gifts and goodies. Whatever fills you with comfort knowing that you are loved, just the way you are, even though you aren't throwing holiday parties because of the overtime you are putting in at work or because you simply just don't feel like it.
I'm working on not getting sucked into and overly influenced into what may or may not be the ultimate goal of a Rockwell, Macy Parade, Martha Stewart Christmas. I'm working on remembering that Thanksgiving through New Year's Day is simply a month full of days - which happens to include overly recognized days apparently set aside for reconnecting with friends and family. So the most important thing is not how my home is decorated, is not the meals that are served, holiday cards sent, or gifts purchased. It's a commercialized reminder of how I strive to treat those that I love every single day of the year.
So the Holiday season may be over - but the glitter (even after it's all packed away) and love will stay with me all year through, and hopefully culminate into a stress-free, love-filled Holiday Season 2014 and beyond.
Have a Holiday -kind of day ~