I'm learning one thing during this Fake It Till You Make It holiday campaign 2006. What is it you ask? It's this...
You don't NEED all that STUFF.
You don't NEED to bake and shop and wrap and sing Christmas carols and run around trying to please everyone.
You don't NEED to party and try to cram in all your holiday cheer into one or two weeks.
You can survive without it.
This year I sent out Christmas cards, decorated ONE room in my house, didn't bake a single cookie, and plan to stay home as much as possible for the actual holiday part of things...and I am actually feeling rested and relaxed and GOOD about the holidays. While my friends run around and try to meet Marth Stewart standards, all the while attempting to please immediate and extended family, I sit and sip hot cocoa with my son while we snuggle under a blanket and watch a movie. While they jaunt off to this or that holiday activity, we throw tennis balls around the living room for the dogs to go fetch. While they bake and shop and stress about what they'll serve on Christmas day, I sit and crochet an afghan for a friend.
It really isn't all that complicated. It's that perspective thing coming back around again. It's because I have spent the last two years REALLY appreciating family and friends...so I don't feel the need to hurry hurry hurry to let someone know I love them and am thinking about them right now. There is no need to force out magical family memories. Magical family memories can be made in a simple trip to McDonalds or a Saturday afternoon in a swimming pool or an everyday evening playing trains on the living room floor. You don't need tinsel and garland and fresh-baked cookies for any of it.
I may still bake some cookies. I'll do it because I WANT to do it and not because I feel like I HAVE TO do it. Or maybe I won't. That's the beauty of faking it till you make it...you lose all those pointless expectations you have of yourself (or that you think others have of you). And you smile more. And you actually ENJOY the holidays. Even when you don't plan to. Or maybe BECAUSE you don't plan to.
Who would have guessed I, of all people, would find holiday spirit?