Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Madness or Holiday Magic?

The holidays often bring a kind of madness, running around like crazy, seeking the perfect gifts. Over-booking our schedules with holiday events. Seeing family members we rarely visit. Or getting stuck in traffic when you only wanted to get a few of the basic necessities at the grocery store. For kids' sakes, for our sakes.... how can we make the best of this time? A few of the obvious things, just in case a little reminder would help (I need this right about now) -
  • What are our priorities? What is really most important? 
  • Children often enjoy the little things.... so we really can keep it simple.
  • Making a list and checking it twice - helps us keep things straight.
  • Remember self care, always important, but even more so when we are doing so much!
  • The gifts are not nearly as important as the gift of time spent together.
  • See the holidays through a child's eyes - full of joy and wonder.
  • What are some of your own favorite childhood holiday memories? What made them so special?
My mother took time every year to get new dresses for our favorite dolls. I remember baking cookies together, and putting cookies out for Santa. When my own kids were little, we had the most fun finding little treasures for their stockings. And I loved the relaxed mornings, with a late breakfast, and an easy day. 

Wishing you all a wonder-full holiday.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Just right

How do we arrive at the place of knowing that what we are doing is "just right." I am reminded of the story of Goldilocks which most of us know well. She kept trying things and didn't settle in until it was "just right." At the same time, I know that sometimes we can over do... keep going and going until we are assured this is "just right," striving for perfection when, of course, this is impossible.

In addition to getting our selves into the "just right" frenzy, we also sometimes give children the idea that what they have done is not enough.The bed is not made to our liking. The clothes aren't folded the way we want. They haven't worked hard enough to finish their homework. Their efforts are not good enough. We want them to learn how to do things well, but we sometimes leave them feeling like they will never be able to do enough to please us. Is this really what we want them to feel?

Where is the balance? Where is "just right?" There are no simple answers. And in fact, people have been asking these very challenging, spiritual questions for hundreds of years. When things are truly "just right," there is a sense of ease and well-being. We can relax into the comfortable chair like Goldilocks. We can acknowledge and accept our good faith efforts. Maybe the most important thing to remember is to ask the question of our selves before we push too much on our selves or others. In this season that sometimes feels like "too much," let's remember to ask - "Where is the balance?" Let's remember to do just enough so that it feels "just right."