Hello, friends. It has been over a week since my last post. I needed a break from the blog world for a little while to relax and enjoy the holidays. We were very busy here with tasks, celebrations, and gatherings. Now the hubbub has finally died down, the schedule more relaxed, and most rooms tidied.
Throughout our holiday adventures this year, I was doing a lot of reflecting on family priorities. Jeramy and I have been together as a couple since high school, married for 5 years, and parents for two-and-a-half (not counting the time that our child was in utero). Despite all of that time together under our belt, I still think of us as a “new family”. Our child is still little enough, and we are not set in our ways quite fully yet, and therefore, I feel that our family unit is still in the budding stages. We are finding our way, figuring out what works and what doesn’t, and developing our own traditions.
One of the priorities that Jeramy and I try to focus on is the goal of living a simple life. This is not an easy thing for two creative pack rats, but it is important to us to make changes toward a simpler life. This means letting go of certain modern ideas and embracing more old-fashioned ones. It means making certain sacrifices that will lead to rewards that are not material in nature. For example, watching very little television to gain quality time, or streamlining our possessions to gain a greater sense of order and zen.
The holidays can be a very chaotic time, when goals are easily derailed. There are many people vying for our company, which is wonderful, but also makes for a lot of traveling around. There is an influx of new things into our home, which is a blessing, but also requires flexing the organizational muscles and purging some old things. There is also a certain pace to keep up with-a whirlwind of activity and deadlines on making things, and many things unattainable in the time given. During all of this madness, I find myself yearning more and more for a simpler, more meaningful holiday experience.
I have never talked about my spiritual beliefs before here on the blog, but I will say that we are not an overly religious family. I have found a church that I love, which welcomes diverse people of all faiths to worship together, while Jeramy prefers not to do the whole church thing. We will raise Simon to find whatever beliefs are right for him. Because Christmas is not a very religious holiday for us, we have had to search for a different reason to celebrate the season over the years. As time has gone on, it has presented itself to us little by little. I believe it is still a work in progress for us.
For this family, the seasonal shift that occurs on the solstice bringing more light to our days, the reconnecting and quality time spent with our family and friends, the desire to share our abundance and give to others, and a recognition of traditions that we have grown up with are the things that make this time of year special for us. With those four things in mind, we go through the holiday season attempting to make it as simple yet special as possible, and each year we make tweaks to our celebrations that will bring us closest to what it truly is about for us.
Someday, I know I will look back over decades of holidays and see how our own special family traditions unfolded.