Early spring at our house must be very romantic because both of our children are winter babies. Add to that, the fact that my husband has a December birthday and that we celebrate both Chanukah and Christmas around here, and you can imagine what it’s like at our house right now: a round-the-clock party bus, menorahs and piñatas and goodie bags bursting out of every window, all of us running around wired, like kids who’ve been left at Disneyland too long.
It’s all a bit too much.
Every year, right around August, I start fantasizing about ways to skip from mid-October smack dab into the first week of January, but there are several things wrong with that plan. First off, I like celebrating my lovely children and handsome husband (though I am not so fond of trying to figure out where to have not one but three budget-friendly winter birthday parties) and secondly, I’m not really a big fan of January, what with it’s dreary days and zero celebratory occasions - it’s a particularly brutal holiday/birthday detox.
And then, of course there are the actual holidays we’d miss, which inherently I like, too. The tree, the lights, the cocoa, the stockings, the dreidel twirling. When it’s nice, it’s really nice.
So, it’s about an attitude adjustment, I’ve decided: mine. Realizing that I fall victim to holiday overstimulation syndrome each and every year, this year I will - in the middle of what will surely be rampant holiday chaos - take a leave for a bath, for a yoga class, for a walk with a friend. Whatever it takes to help me be able to come back after a few moments or an hour to be fully present in the whirlwind - somehow without becoming twirled up inside it - to fully appreciate the small sticky hands and candy canes and notes to Santa and reading Polar Express every night. Who would want to miss that, right?
It’s the chance to be a kid again, to believe, to go on the journey.
This year, I’m not missing it.