Twas the morn before Christmas and outside my house, not a car was stirring, nor even a mouse.
I had zipped my winter coat over my pajamas this morning to bring our recycling to the curb. When I stepped out onto the porch, it reminded me of the mornings when my boys were young and we woke early on Saturdays to take them to hockey games. Those days were hardly quiet. It was always a rush to get breakfast into their bellies and gear onto their bodies and all of us into the car.
On Sundays, we woke early for church. Monday through Friday, it was work and school. Never a day to sleep in. Never a break, it seemed.
Working moms get no break.
My mom used to talk about how much she loved getting up before anyone else and enjoying the quiet. When my kids were little, what I wanted more than anything was to sleep in.
But I always relished that moment on a winter morning when I stepped outside into the cocoon of the stillness and silence. If someone had boxed up that feeling of peace and put it under my Christmas tree, I’d have needed no other gift.
These days, my kids are grown, and I have my fill of solitude. I’m much less in need of cocooning but I still appreciate the gift of quiet, peace-filled moments. They are opportunities for reflection.
May your Christmas Day, whether you celebrate or not, be filled with opportunities for reflection.
This holiday season, I wish you many of those moments. I hope they allow you to reflect on life, and I hope you find reasons for gratitude, even if you have to dig deep, as I know many people do. If it helps, pretend I’ve wrapped the gift and placed it under your tree with a fancy bow and a tag that says,
“From Karen. To my friend.”
If you don’t celebrate Christmas, pretend the box is on your table or windowsill or already in your hands.
Unwrap. Enjoy. Repeat every day.
Until next year, I wish you all the best.
Photo credit: A collaboration of myself and good friend and photographer Sam Ciraulo. https://www.sciraulophotography.com