It’s into the second week of December. This is the time of year, where for many of us, our schedules change. This change comes upon us quite inconspicuously, or under the radar, so-to-speak. Unless of course we are talking about shopping malls, where we are bombarded with Christmas music the day after Halloween—a little too early for my liking. Other than that Christmas comes to us like a sniper in the night. Before you know it, it is peering in our windows, in the form of a Great Aunt holding a fruitcake that has been left to ferment so long, the children are not allowed near it.
For the most part, Christmas generally sneaks up on us. It shows up while we are still in pyjamas, hair darting in all directions, barely taking that first sip of morning coffee. Usually we are overwhelmed by the omnipresent feeling that we’ve forgotten something or someone, and are left wondering if there may be enough time left to finish what it is we haven’t.
There is so much to do around this time of year; often we feel stressed trying to take care of it all. On top of all the “normal” things we need to take care of in life, there are office parties to attend, friend and family visits, gift buying, house decorating, classic holiday movies to watch, and so much food to buy and prepare. The list really is endless when we think about it.
That last one, about food preparation, that’s the one I love to do. Cooking and baking are two things I love equally. I find the process much like that when I paint. There is always a point where I am so immersed in it, I can hardly think of anything else. You could say it almost has therapeutic or meditative qualities to it. When we lose ourselves in the process, that is when it is no longer a job to do, but a pleasure to do, uhhh… unless I burn something. Should that happen, then it is not a pleasure at all. And all those therapeutic and meditative qualities? Well, they fly right out the window along with the smoke that sets off my smoke detector. Lucky for us, food burning in our house rarely happens.
I just baked two loaves of rosemary and Parmesan bread—successfully. (And no, I do not use a bread maker, for those of you who were wondering.) True, they will most likely be long gone before Christmas, but my first two loaves of the season never make it that far. The point is this is not a chore for me. It is something I love to do. I don’t know whether it was always something I loved to do, but for now it is, and that will do me just fine.
We change throughout our lives. Where we started is definitely not where we are going to end up. Those changes that happen to us happen on a continuous basis. We change our mind, we change our look, we change how we feel about something or someone, we change our jobs, we change where we live, we change who we hang with, and we will keep on changing until we die; although, some would argue we keep changing after we pass. Either way, the fact that we change so much is probably the one innate consistency we can depend on. We can only hope they are positive changes. “Change for the better” may be cliché, but that’s only because there is truth in it.
There is also truth in the fact that I am guilty of being a negative Nellie, when it comes to doing jobs I don’t especially like doing. So imagine, if I just change my perspective to thinking I get to do these things. My mental wall around certain chores I don’t especially like doing could come down. My time spent doing anything remotely chore-like, could be time well spent, and not considered a waste of time. My new-found positivity towards chores could lead directly to lower stress levels and all-around better health. Chores don’t seem so awful anymore. Okay, maybe drying Tupperware still sucks, but on the whole, I can look at chores from an entirely new point of view to help me get the through the chores I normally don’t like doing.
So, all that said, I choose not to add stress in my life. I choose to be happy doing all those things I get to do, rather than treating all these extra Christmas season time bandits like chores given to me by my mom when I was ten. If we think of chores as something we want to do because we can, and not as something we must do out of a sense of duty, it not only changes our perspective greatly, but it also changes our attitude.
It is especially around Christmas time that our perspectives and attitudes should change for the better, not the worse. If I say to you, “Yaay, I get to go gift shopping today!” instead of “Uggh, I gotta’ go to the mall and fight my way through the crowds of people to buy Christmas gifts.” Whose gift would you rather receive?