One of my favourite About Me profiles is the one on Carrie Snyder’s blog, Obscure Canlit Mama. It goes,
I’m mother of four, writer, dreamer, planner, runner, teacher, photographer, taking time for a cup of coffee in front of this computer screen. My days are full, yet I keep asking: how can I fill them just a little bit more — with depth, with care, with pleasure.
That sums up my take on Christmas. More. Just a little bit. With depth, with care, with pleasure. Bring on the chaos, but let’s make it quality chaos, the kind that memories are made of, the kind that puts smiles on faces.
I don’t want to simplify. Not at Christmas, anyway. I want the madness, the excess, the joy. I want to work hard to find the perfect gifts for teachers and friends and family alike. I want people to know that they are appreciated. I want to bring them happiness with material or consumable goods. I want to take the one off the cuff reference to a hobby or interest and turn it into a gift to remember. I want to stay up late wrapping beautiful things beautifully. I want to hand write each and every one of the 97 cards I mail out, and I want each of them to say one small, special thing. (I’m still working on that.)
I try pretty hard to keep our lives on an even keel throughout the year. I like quiet, order and calm. I like nothing better than a predictable schedule, and enough time in it in which to get bored. I do not like run of the mill rush and push. I will say no a lot more often than I say yes.
But at Christmas, I want all that calm and measure to go out the window. In many religious calendars, festivals around big dates are about chaos. We temper our piety with excess and madness.
I’m an introvert, and my excess at Christmas is usually on my own terms. I don’t go to a lot of parties, but even that I have to learn to say “yes” to more often. I met my husband on a night in December. I was in graduate school. I was in the midst of writing term papers. I would rather have stayed in. But I didn’t. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, out of my tiredness, and I met the love of my life because I said “yes.” Like Molly Bloom,”yes I said yes I will Yes.”