Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

Christmas Pressure: How human. How fascinating

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There are many people
who want to be everywhere at once,
and they get nowhere.

~ Carl Sandburg ~

Gotta love Carl Sandburg. He takes something so obvious, states it in a way I’ve never thought to look at it and suddenly, I see it like I’ve never seen it before.

Like wanting to be everywhere at once and getting nowhere, wanting to do everything at once can also lead to nowhere.

And that happens every Christmas for me.

I make a list of all the things I’d like to get done, and then, begin the flurry of activity that is supposed to lead to everything being done in time for me to enjoy the big day in peace and joy.

Except, on my list I didn’t include the live each day in the now and treasure each moment as it comes part and voila! Christmas is a week away and my list is nowhere close to being completed and I am nowhere near feeling calm and centered and balanced in my festive undertakings.

How human.

How fascinating!

Someone asked me yesterday if I was finished all my Christmas shopping.

I laughed. Shopping? Oops. Forgot to put that on my list!

My list is comprised of things like:

  •  make 18 place card holders for pre-Christmas dinner (almost done).
    – 18 homemade Christmas crackers (in the process of getting done).
    – Think about recycling place card holders from pre-Christmas dinner for Christmas dinner or make some new and fabulous other thing for that day because I really do get a lot of joy from creating and decorating the Christmas dinner table! (NOTE TO SELF — Check out Pinterest for other ideas)
    – Do some baking (CHECK!) but I did want to make some tourtiere and some homemade lip balm for the girls’ stockings and that really cute iced letters for JOY I saw on Pinterest and…
    – Decorate the house (almost check — we still have to do the Tree but we were waiting for my eldest daughter to arrive and so now, before pre-Christmas dinner for 18 on Sunday we’ll be decorating it together and I’m so excited because that is about my most favourite Christmas activity!
    – Buy the stuff for the Christmas stockings I am co-creating with my dear friend Ian and his wife for the guys at The Madison (Ian is way ahead of me on getting it done) (The Madison is an apartment building for formerly homeless veterans. I usually do a concert/fundraiser but this year decided I didn’t have the energy — I think planning for our wedding depleted all my planning for big events energy this year)
    – Light the final candle on the Advent wreath this Sunday — I had to put that one on the list when I realized I had forgotten to light it one Sunday 🙂

 As you can see, ‘Christmas practical’ like gift-buying is not on my Christmas list — but Pinterest is!

I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. Filled with amazing ideas and examples of what I can do to create the perfect party, dinner, photo album, gift, or anything else you can imagine, Pinterest is a constant source of ideas to Pin for future reference.

Challenge is, future reference seldom comes.

Pinterest feeds my need for searching for ideas on what to create more of in my life, but the constant checking out of Pins doesn’t leave room for me to get to the creating part — there are soooo many ideas to chose from, I become stalled in the looking at all the great ideas, and don’t always get to the action part.

Though to give myself a break — my Christmas cracker template came from a Pin on How to Make Christmas Crackers. (Check)

 They say confession is good for the soul. Here’s mine.  Drum roll please….

I think it might be my Netflix and Shomi addiction (Oh. and Pinterest too) that is stealing ‘Christmas time to get everything done with a sense of joy and peace’ away. Oh. And The VOICE too. Thank goodness the finale was Tuesday night. Did you see it? Jordan Smith is AMAZING!

Ooops. I digress.

Back to my confession.

I have a feeling, okay make it a knowing, that I am allowing my busy days at work to steal my sense of grace and calm. I am allowing ‘tired’ to be my excuse for not diving into the things I truly love to do when it’s not that I’m really tired, it’s just that I need to breathe, relax and do something that feeds my sense of grace and calm — and watching mindless shows on Netflix or Shome or TV or Pinning countless ideas on things to create to make Christmas perfect — does not cut it!

So, now that I’ve confessed, it’s time to connect back to what I need more of in my life without stressing myself out about what I need to do to create the more I want.

I commit to treating my world, my being, myself with grace and calm in all things.

I commit to doing the things I know enhance my sense of grace and calm and to stop doing the things I use to escape taking responsibility for creating grace and calm throughout my being in everything I do.

Whew! That feels better.

Now, to make that list of the gifts I need to buy! But wait. that’s one of the things that bothers me about Christmas. The pressure to buy and spend. I want to create a simpler, kinder, more graceful experience. Maybe this year, I will fulfill on my wish to make a donation in the name of everyone I love and leave the gift giving to Santa!

Now there’s a plan. 🙂

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Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe we each have the capacity to be the change we want to see in the world, to make a world of difference. I believe we are creative beings on the journey of our lifetimes. It's up to each of us to Live It Up and SHINE!

8 thoughts on “Christmas Pressure: How human. How fascinating

  1. We are having an “unplugged” Christmas this year. A part of me misses the hectic adrenalized flurry of activity. Its very addictive! The other part thanks me for being able to relax and be there for my hubby.

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  2. LG,

    on behalf of the male-species, I can advise we all get Mr. Sandburg’s words – we always have.

    He have a remote. We have a chair. We always want to know what is on. And what else is on. Whether or not anything interests us, a nap often takes to a restful peaceful place – and when we wake it is always a surprise, like “he shoots, he scores!” or “breaking news” – either way we know we are in the right place at the right time.

    I admire your shopping and list making technique. Again, I differ in that I’ve adopted the famous male method. Merchants were long ago sold out of ‘the best items’ of the season. They’ve re-ordered but those re-orders didn’t come in quickly. They are arriving now, just in time to be put on SALE at substantial discounts. This easy-chair approach allows us to get more gifts with our finite amount of money. Also, the overall selection has diminished, as stores are selling everything in sight, so our expedition can be more of a surgical strike. Get in, get it, get out. And we do. I do. So far I’ve got one gift bought. That’s it. I know where I’m going, and when. Soon. And then I’ll be done, just in time for last-minute wrapping – best done to accompaniment of the fire-log channel …

    Happy preparing ..

    Cheers,

    Mark

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  3. Now that my kids are adult, I don’t get into the Christmas stuff. I buy gifts for my two nieces, and that’s it. We are always away from family on Christmas because they all live in Utah and we can’t be in the snow in the RV, frozen pipes and all that. So it’s all low key, no stress, and quite.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just love your confessions, your obsessions, and you constant desire to balance your life, making sure that you have the time and space to really soak in the present moment. Light and love and peace to you as we enter the Christmas season. xoxo

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  5. Louise I love that quote and believe I do it all the time with my art instead of focusing on one thing. This year I want to change that. I hope your xmas was simple and full of love and family. We had the word simple as our mantra for the day and kept the meal to cold meats and delicious salads. Hot here, so no hot lunches for us. Happy new Year to you.
    Kath.

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