24 December 2018

Christmas Eve - Essential Guidance

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke served up some essential guidance back in November. This found its way into my RSS feeds via Cultural Offering this morning.

Although it is a list of advice for the holiday season and we’re well into this time of the year, we’ve still got time to heed Boffke’s instructions.

Around here…

  1. We didn’t leave things to the last minute. A couple of small tasks to complete today and I’m done.
  2. Saying no. Two years ago, after the birth of our daughter, we decided we would not travel for Christmas again. If extended family (who are permitted to have contact with us) decide they want to come see us, they’re welcome to come to us. This has allowed us to get everything we need to get done with plenty of time to spare. We’ve declined invitations, refused to fight the traffic and generally withdrawn from society.
  3. A scaling back. We’re certainly not minimalists but we’ve become essentialists. The number of gifts under the tree are smaller in number this year. The toddler’s toys are fewer. She has plenty… and her big gift this year is a new bed… which she seems to be enjoying.
  4. Boxing Day plans. Plans? Ha! No.
  5. Doing it all? Hard pass.
  6. Ample time for myself, my wife and my daughter. Check. My mother will visit later in the week for three days. Past that… we will spend this time together.
  7. Simple things. Since we’re celebrating” with my mother in a few days, our Christmas Day meal will be a pot of homemade chicken and vegetable soup. The toddler will probably get mac and cheese… because… well… the toddler eats mac and cheese. With peas. The adults will drink a lot of coffee, read books, perhaps watch some basketball and relax. I might scribble a few words… but that will only occur if I feel moved to do so.
  8. Toxic people. Hard hard hard pass. Our tolerance for toxicity (and intolerance) is non-existent. I’ve stopped responding in those situations and remove myself from the situation. This is a viable strategy that works. Either the person gets it and changes their behavior or they don’t. Either way, life is too short for their BS.
  9. The putting up of the feet. There will be no running amok. There was a time when we couldn’t run amok… because every store and shop was closed on Christmas Day… because nobody did anything other than relax. We’re embracing that this year… as we did last year. We have more than enough… and we’re thankful for that.

Do what you need to do. Lock the doors if you must. Toss the smartphone in a locked safe. Turn off the news. Politely inform a visitor that it is time for them to depart. Implement a quiet time after the opening of presents or the consumption of your meal.

I implore you to take whatever action you need to take to find peace. Please. Please. Please.

Most of all, I hope… and pray… everyone finds some peace today and tomorrow. Peace of mind… peace of soul… whatever variety of peace you need.

Because now more than ever… we need it.


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