Clipper Staff Writer
It’s here.The week we’ve been shopping and decorating and baking and wrapping for weeks if not months.
Christmas is just past and New Year’s is coming and if you’ve made it this far, you’ll make it the rest of the way for sure.
You’ve written lists, you’ve checked them off.
You’ve stood quietly in stores debating the color of scarf to buy for one and the type of toy to buy for another.
You’ve mailed packages that the UPS guy said would have cost less if you’d consolidated them and you’ve rationalized yourself into eating the candy the neighbor brought over that you know you really shouldn’t have eaten.
And now it’s partially done and hopefully it went well and there’s still more ahead and the last thing you need me to do is tell you there’s one more thing to do.
But here I am doing just that.
But it doesn’t require going anywhere or buying anything.
It’s just necessary to think.
All you have to do is think of what is the very most important take-home for this year’s celebration.
Is it the great food? Is it the memorable gifts? Is it the beautifully arranged pine boughs?
I learned the hard way that when you want so badly for everything to be perfect, you can sometimes lose sight of the whole reason for the event.
This happened to me once when our family was gathered after a long separation. I had tried so hard to make everything perfect and when something went wrong, I did too.
And though I apologized afterward, the story did not die there, as I happen to know it has been told to at least one daughter-in-law and if it gets told at my funeral I’m going to haunt someone.
The most important thing at that gathering wasn’t that the dinners were good or that the games were fun. The most important thing was being together, making memories, building bonds and not messing up.
Now, before going on a trip or sharing a holiday, I sit myself down and I think to myself about what is important.
And it’s not usually what I spend hours and weeks and months preparing for.
It’s not that we stay in the perfect hotel or get tickets to that premiere event, it’s not that we give everybody the gifts that they very most positively want even if they didn’t think to ask for them, or have the perfect table decor for the holiday party.
Your goal for the very most important thing at this year’s celebration might be different than others’ or than mine.
Maybe you’re thinking of one already, so the job wasn’t all that hard.
But if you need a little help, I’ll share an idea and you’re welcome to borrow it.
For my holidays this year, there’s one thing I want to happen above all: I want everyone in my family to know that I love them.
May our holidays be bright, may our dreams come true, may our priorities get as much attention as our responsibilities.