Talking with a pal at church this last weekend, the conversation (as it does this time of year) turned to, “so, are you ready for Christmas?” Her reply was, “well, it’s coming whether I’m ready or not, so I’m just going to enjoy it, do what I can, and remember to give thanks.” Ah, the wisdom of clear-headed Type-B personality friends.
And so, four days from the guests arriving and five days from the big guy bumping down the chimney, I peek out from the competing piles of work and packages needing to be wrapped to reflect on a few things I’m thankful for this holiday. This is in no particular order, and probably of no particular interest to you, but I hope that it will inspire you to take a moment to re-center on the wonderful things in your life.
- I am a Minnesota girl transplanted south, and I’m so glad that my 32 degree early morning run was about as cold as I’ll face. Not sure if I’d be a runner if I still lived up in the great white north – and admire you incredibly tough folks who make it happen year-round.
- Marathon training = a mental go-ahead to simply enjoy delish tortes, cookies and cheese without thinking ‘oh, I really shouldn’t’. As someone who has battled eating and body issues for more years than I’d care to admit, this is big. (A bit sad that it’s taking something like marathon training to really get my head right, but I guess that mental centering is something I really love about running.)
- My kids. At 10 and 8, they are excited AND helpful. They trimmed the tree, and starting tomorrow will be my kitchen elves, helping to bake cookies. They’re making gifts willingly, and are just so fun to have around! And as a bonus, they enjoy holiday movies that I, too, enjoy – ones that have actual people in them like Bill Murray, Chevy Chase and Will Ferrell.
- My husband. Who is so busy and tied up with work, but whose heart remains firmly planted in the center of our home. I have yet to catch him under the huge mistletoe I hung in the kitchen entry, but it’s going to happen. Oh, it’s gonna happen. (Babe, if you’re reading, beware. You’re gonna get smooched.)
- Hosting Christmas! In the 14 years we’ve been married, we’ve hosted twice – once, my husband had just had surgery for cancer in his thyroid (ah, remission, another thing to be thankful for!) and the second time, when my daughter was only two weeks old and playing the Baby Jesus in the church pageant (we try not to remind her of that for fear it might go to her pretty little head). In the past few years, we’ve made Thanksgiving ‘ours’ but due to numerous extenuating circumstances surrounding Thanksgiving, we get Christmas – and it’s gonna be awesome!
- My family. Two parents – still married. Two brothers – who I adore. Their wives – who I adore. Their kids – who I would happily keep if ever given the opportunity. I know how rare and lucky that is, and to be surrounded by these people during the holidays will be a gift in itself.
- A new massage therapist. I have my friend Helen to thank for the Amazing Janice who I saw yesterday for the first time, and mentioned my hip hurts (just a dull ache, but all the time) and she said something like, “Oh, right here?” and put here thumb right into my piriformis. Holy butt pain, Batman. But seriously, anybody who is willing to dig in and work to rub that pain out of its hiding place is, in my book, a superhero. I could end up getting to know her well in the coming months.
So, clearly, in no particular order, but if I had to put a bow on each, they’d be the prettiest packages under the tree.