A month from now, it’ll all be over.

Today’s the day I can’t not hear my dad’s personal holiday litany, in his voice, inside my head.

With variations – two months, two weeks, a week – it was as much a part of my holidays as trimming the tree and wrapping gifts.

It’s not that he was a Scrooge-like Grinch.

Quite the opposite. He LOVED the holidays. Especially the choosing and giving of gifts.

I grew up hearing about how, when my brothers (12 and 14 years older than me) were little, he and my mom finished Christmas shopping together before Thanksgiving because my dad’s work schedule was so hectic in December.

As the branch manager of the local post office, his Decembers were a blur of long lines of usually stressed-out and sometimes downright nasty customers from the time he unlocked the door in the morning until way after closing time.

So my dad’s personal holiday litany could have been a lament.

A month from now, it’ll all be over, and I will have been too busy and tired to have enjoyed it. 

Or a longing for the frenzy to end.

A month from now, I’ll be able to work shorter days, facing shorter lines of less frazzled people and maybe even have time to take a lunch break now and then.

Knowing my dad, though, I think it was an intention.

A month from now, this holiday season will be a memory. No matter what, I want to be present and find something to cherish every single day. 

Okay, so I don’t think my dad ever once said the word “present,” unless he was talking about a box in wrapping paper, or the word “cherish,” but I’m pretty sure that this is what he meant with his “it’ll soon be over” litany.

A month from now, it’ll all be over.

A week later, we’ll be writing “2019.” Sometimes after we scratch out “2018.”

What to you want to be present to this holiday season?

What do you want to look back on and savor on the 26th of next month? The first of next year?

What tiny things can you do to be present, today, tomorrow, every day throughout the holiday season and into the new year?

If you’re already feeling as stressed as my dad all those years on the last day to mail packages with guaranteed delivery by December 25, remember this: you might not be able to change the hectic frenzy all around you, but you can take charge of how you respond to it and how you let it show up in your own life.

Today’s the perfect day to start crafting the holiday season you really want because, whether you do or not, a month from now, it’ll all be over.


images: pixabay; used with permission

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