Written by Kara Fleck, Simple Kids editor and Rockin’ Granola mama.
Can you feel it? The pace that wants to quicken, the days that want to fly by, the moments slipping through our fingers? This time of year the focus can easily slip into that of hustle and bustle … and I am fighting against it with every thing I have. The more the outside world wants to speed up, to shout loudly, the more I want to slow down, to whisper.
Recent events have driven home how fragile life is, haven’t they, friends? Things can change so much from Christmas to Christmas. I’m reminded again and again how much joy there is under my roof and how very lucky I am to have it. I want to live in these moments, paying attention, and savoring them.
Erin Goodman has issued a gentle reminder to slow down and savor the holidays. She’s written about it here and started the social media hashtag #SlowHolidays for Instagram and twitter.
In Erin’s words, “slowing down, getting outside, finding quiet, connecting with my center – and bringing that peaceful space back to you here.”
I’ve been following along and I appreciate the gentle reminder to seek out that quiet, embrace the simple, focus on the calm and the peace.
There is no “perfect”
Part of that has meant scaling back my elaborate plans and shifting into a simpler gear (i.e. letting go of the massive holiday baking plans for our afternoon and being content to dip some peanut butter sandwich cookies from the store into white chocolate instead).
I switched off the news a few days ago, unable to bear it any longer and wishing to protect my children (and I’ll admit, my own heart) as much as I can from the details. I wrap presents and think of those unopened, waiting. I play in the kitchen with my little ones and think of empty chairs at the table.
This time is a gift.
And so we’re dancing to Christmas music in the kitchen, and watching favorite movies and spending quiet hours reading, or simply lingering over cocoa and cookies, making a happy little mess on a rainy December afternoon.
The kids chatter back and forth, cheeks full of chocolate chips, excited for Santa’s arrival in a few days. Their voices fill my kitchen, wondering about presents, speculating if we’ll get snow, cracking each other up with silly jokes. It is music to my ears.
There’s no gentle white snowfall. In fact, the skies are grey and the rain has been steady. The cookies resemble Charlie Brown’s Halloween costume more than their Pinterest inspiration, I’m pretty sure Lucy has had more to eat more she decorated, I noticed too late the dirt under Max’s fingernails, and the cocoa burned my tongue on the first sip.
All of it, absolutely perfect.
Here’s to slowing down, letting go of perfect, and enjoying the little things!
Update: I see that Jennifer over at Swing, Whistle, Zing is giving away a copy of one of our favorite Christmas albums, A Laurie Berkner Christmas. Head over to Jennifer’s blog to enter. It looks like the giveaway ends tonight.