Hurry Holidays!

It was Thanksgiving when I last wrote  my shopping experiences on Black Friday, and here it is almost Christmas, and I’ve still got shopping to do!!  I have bought a few things along, but once again I am having the same problems I do every year:  I forget that I’ve bought something, and buy again, as well as the problem of stashing  it somewhere to hide it from recipients and forget it all together!!  I’m sure I’ll find a few items this summer, but luckily, most of my family members have summer birthdays, so I’ll be in good shape (unless it was a sweater!)

I put my Christmas tree up this past weekend, and I now have a full-blown case of Holiday Fever!  I want to hear Christmas music, add to the decorations around the house, think about some baking activities, and wrap the few presents that I have purchased thus far.  I have three more days of school left, and then my students will head home to await Santa’s arrival, and I’ll be free to put my own Christmas dreams into motion.

The first thing I am going to do is make a cup of hot chocolate and sit down to complete the shopping list.  Then I will do a shopping marathon to  finish all in one day.    That evening, it will be Christmas music, Christmas presents, and Christmas tree lights aglow as the wrapping marathon begins.  Everyone will be in bed except for my three dogs, two Pomeranians and a Chow-Chow mix we recently adopted.  My “babies” will hang out with me for a while to see if there will be any Christmas morsels they might partake of, but when it turns out it is just going to be a “cowboy steak” or duck jerky (treats made for dogs), Sam ( a pom) will decide he’d rather go sleep with his “Daddy”.  His brother, Ben, will get under the table and sleep, just in case Mama decides she needs a snack later.  Sasha, (the Chow mix) will find herself a spot beside the tree and snore loudly while she stands guard for the family!

Right now, as I write, Ben is curled up beside me in my favorite armchair.  Sasha is snoring soundly under the Christmas tree, and Sam is on the bed (probably on my pillow) right next to my husband.  Our son loves the dogs, but he has a “closed door” policy at night.  Door closed and all dogs out!  He doesn’t want to risk having one of them mistake his toys for one of their toys.  They don’t have a history of giving one flip about ANY toy (dog toy or boy toy), but that is just not something he is going to gamble on!  Everthing is quiet ( except for the steady snores from Sasha), only the soft white lights from the tree illuminate the room.  This moment is something I live for every night during the holidays.  This moment of stillness, peace of mind, and comfort after the hectic noise,decision-making, meeting the needs of others and all the other million things we do in this thing called LIFE gives me the strength to get up and do it all again.  In a few minutes, I will post this and head upstairs to get a few hours of sleep so tomorrow I can be the best teacher possible for the 21 students depending on me, all the while being aware of my responsibilities as a wife, mother, sister, daughter, and friend.  I am thankful for my “Armchair Sanctuary”, where I relax, renew, and rejuvenate every night.  I hope you have your own version of an Armchair Sanctuary where you are safe and protected from the pressures of the day, even if only for a few minutes.  If not, think about finding one, and soon.  You’ll be amazed at how much free therapy will come from it!

Spark of the Day:  Make time for yourself each evening to unwind from the day’s demands.  Quiet works for me because I work with 21 8 year-olds,  5 days a week!  Find your “Sanctuary”, be it an armchair, treadmill, computer game, music, craft or hobby.  Give yourself permission to do what you WANT to do for 30 minutes at least, even if it seems like the time could be better spent doing something on that never ending list we all have filed away in our heads if not on actual paper.  Consider this:  You give and give all day from morning to night.  Give something to yourself as well.  YOU ARE WORTH IT!  You must value yourself to be valued by others….

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