Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry and Bright

I am still in a little bit of disbelief, and in a whole lot of gratitude, over the number of days, celebrations, occasions, and events that felt so merry and bright this year.  I am so grateful.  I will not ever say that there is any good that comes from tragedies like what happened in Sandy Hook, yet I will say that I was acutely aware, even more than usual, for how fortunate we are in our health and in the happiness we share as a whole, complete family.  I did not take for granted, for one minute, the joy our family felt this Christmas, the Light we enjoyed; my heart carried with it the awareness of how many suffer in Darkness.     

I was not stressed this year.  Say what?  Anne Carter, not stressed?  I know, it's so hard to believe...  I was determined from the very start to enjoy as much of the process as I could;  I decided that the best gift I could give my children, above all else, was a mom who was not stressed, not crabby, not short-tempered and annoyed by petty things.  I wanted to be sure to do things that they wanted to do, to help create amazing Christmas memories, for them.

Admittedly, there was a bit of a learning curve on the no-stress policy.  I had a rough start in early December.  I still shudder to think about the tears that were shed over the tree we selected - mine and theirs - and I am disappointed in our failure to follow through to completion the service projects we started.  Tree trimming was a lonely chore this year - after last year's ornament hurtling and coming to blows over which ornament belonged to whom, I banned the kids from helping.  I decorated the tree one night by myself, and it was joyless.  I feel truly guilty, disappointed, and discouraged by our half-hearted service projects this year, yet making mistakes is usually how I figure out a better way, a better fit for us.  (More on gifts of service to come... )

But then, things started to change.  I remembered my commitment to being stress-less, and joy-filled, and I moved forward.  In the interest of documenting Merry and Bright (and perhaps because I haven't written any kind of term paper or other such organized bit of writing in months) I've decided to recap the events of December into 4 separate posts:  Favorite Things; Funny Things; Best Traditions; and Homemade Gifts.

...and so, without further adieu.....

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