Sunday, December 28, 2014

Mellow Christmas Moments...

It has been a lovely Christmas here, enjoyed all the more because Peter and I have learned (finally?) to relax, to make fewer and less elaborate plans, and to go with the flow and enjoy what comes.

The grandkids are the center of our attention, and sometimes their parents need to make adjustments in scheduling. Case in point: Augie was sick with the flu Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We still gathered at their house, but we delayed the start and kept things fairly low-key. Abby still made wonderful meals and Peter contributed a side dish and a pie, and we were grateful that we were all--even Augie--healthy enough to enjoy them.

Compared to other years, we seemed to go easy on gifts for the grands, or at least we didn't go as far overboard as usual. Abby and Eric's home gained 5,000 new Lego pieces on Thursday, but thankfully not all came from us. Our gifts to one another were both satisfying and modest, and we didn't have to stay up all night wrapping.

At one point I found myself watching part of the Christmas Eve Mass from St. Peter's in Rome. I grew up Catholic and I've avoided watching that Mass for years now, but this time I was drawn in by the music. As a teen and young adult, I played the organ for three different church choirs, and on this Christmas Eve I found myself singing along quietly with some of the Gregorian Chant. It didn't make me want to go back to church, but it did reach something deep inside. Memories of Christmases long ago, certainly, and of my family back then. And also the basic urge that humans feel to honor something greater than ourselves.

It's not that I've abandoned that urge; I've pursued it in lots of places and lots of ways. And it's been on my mind as I visit with my youngest brother David, who two weeks ago entered an assisted living and hospice facility.

In fact, this urge to honor something greater than ourselves reached out and tapped me on the shoulder while I was buying Christmas cards last week. It seemed to tell me to stop rushing around, to be mindful of others, to think about my priorities. Maybe it's just a silly card, and all those things were already in my head. But sometimes it takes a gentle hint to make me listen.

So, dear blog friends, I hope your holiday season is long and mellow and filled with sweet moments along with whatever harsh slices of reality elbow their way in. I hope as you review 2014 and look forward to 2015, you'll find love and enjoyment and fulfillment and deep pleasures that go way beyond the schedules and to-do lists that sometimes distract us from our real happiness.

As the card (created by Pamela Zagarenski with art by Daniel Ladinsky and produced by sacredbee) says:








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This post linked to the GRAND Social
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18 comments:

J said...

Beautiful post! Very meaningful. I hosted the usual craziness this year and that included adding over 5,000 Legos bricks to the family holdings just with my purchases alone. All the while, feeling tired and stressed, I kept promising myself that next year would be different. I'll aim for the same fun but less surrounding "fluff!"
Happy New Year, fellow grandma!

DJan said...

I loved this, and I am much in the same mindset as far as Christmas goes. You are so fortunate to have those beautiful grandchildren. It's tough to be sick at any time, but to be sick at Christmas is doubly hard. Thank you for this wonderful reminder to be grateful for all that we have and all that we are to one another. Hugs! :-)

Red Shoes said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to YOU, Blissed!!!

I totally agree with everything you said above about this holiday season being more laid back... easier going.

Always...

~shoes~

Linda Myers said...

Everything is sacred. Thanks for the confirmation.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I am sorry to hear about your brother...that must be hard for your whole family.
Slowing down is a good thing and just being in the moment is grand:)

Stephen Hayes said...

Thanks for this sincere Christmas post. i hope you've had a meaningful and Merry Christmas.

Stephen Hayes said...

Thanks for this sincere Christmas post. i hope you've had a meaningful and Merry Christmas.

Teresa Evangeline said...

I love the Hafiz quote ... so very true ... Wishing you a beautiful 2015!

Jeanie said...

Nancy, this is a beautiful post filled with all the true spirit and meaning of Christmas. Yes, I finally "stopped" and found my center with it, and with that, great peace.

Poor Augie. It reminded me of my first Christmas with Rick and the boys -- at 5 a.m. Kevin was up and hurling. I thought, "I must really love this kid because I'm cleaning up kid-hurl and he isn't even mine!" Hope all is well now!

Kc W said...

A beautiful and though provoking post. We do things more low key, too and it is easier on everyone. I feel sorry for my daughter and her family who have to work in 3 sets of parents over the holiday -- that is stressful. Happy New Year, Nancy!

EG CameraGirl said...

What a great reminder that everything we do is sacred!

troutbirder said...

Very sweet. I think that is the path we're easy into as well for this hectic season. Perhaps quieter and more thoughtful. Though I do wish I grandchildren weren't so far way....

Bohemian Babushka said...

That quote is perfect, and things like that don't come to us without a meaning. I'm glad you interpreted it as you did and wish you strength during this time with your brother. Peace be with you.

California Girl said...

I went to the last five services our minister of 18 years will give. Hate to see him go but he's closing in on 80 & he's in poor health.

Our Christmas was low-key but really really nice. For once I did NOT go to the Dollar Store for stocking stuffers. I bought handmade soaps & sundries from one of my clients & my husband was dee-lighted. Nice to surprise them once in a while.

Happy New Year~!

Midlife Roadtripper said...

This is such a beautiful post. I found your discussion of listening in on the service quite true to me as well. This year's church service was my first since last Christmas. Even worse than a C&E. Been like that the past couple years. But I loved sitting still in the evening light and singing along with the hymns I'd known since -- well, since forever. Peaceful.

Happy New Year to you.

Deb Shucka said...

This is a gorgeous, soft and reflective post. Thank you for the gift of it. I also love your card, and the Hafiz quote. What a great way for me to start my Sunday.

Retired English Teacher said...

This reflective post speaks to me on the eleventh day of January as much as it would have when you wrote it. The gentleness of the post is soothing and reminds us to honor that which is sacred in our lives at all times. There are times when we need the music and reflection of the season to remember what it is all about.

Anita said...

Oh, you summed it up so beautifully. I need to hear these kind of sentiments.

Blessings to You and Your Family; especially your brother.

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