Every year I tell myself that come December, I am not going to get all bananas about the holidays. I tell myself I’m not going to stress about every little thing, and that I’m going to enjoy the little moments. Yet every year when I look in the mirror on any given day in December, all I see is a big old bunch of bananas.
I see someone stressed about Christmas cards, decorating the house, getting everyone on my list the perfect gift, shopping among all the other bananas during Christmas week for all the food that I just have to bake and cook, because if I don’t will Christmas even happen? Spoiler alert, yes, Christmas will in fact happen whether or not I find the time to make my peppermint bark. Yes, Christmas will happen no matter what we do or don’t accomplish, but the bigger question is, how do we find the simplicity in the season?
I’m not going to claim to know the answer, but I will say, there is something about knowing another year is coming to a close that makes us all feel nostalgic. The years seems to fly by especially fast when you become a parent. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that Christmas is actually the time to celebrate all the gifts we have already received throughout the year. When we receive gifts we want to offer our gratitude.
Dear Friends, Family, and all of those who have impacted my year,
Thank you. Thank you never feels like enough, but it still feels important to say.
Thank you to my friends and family, new and old, who showed up for every small moment. Thank you for picking up the phone when I needed to cry, or I wanted to vent, or shout to you with excitement that I was able to finally figure out how to stop having all my important emails go into my spam folder. Thank you for loving my children like they are your own.
Thank you for making me laugh, and for laughing with me. Thank you for understanding when I need to cry, and for crying with me. Thank you for trusting me with things you wouldn’t share with the entire world. Thank you for allowing me to share the things you would.
Thank you for showing up for the big moments. Thank you for cheering me on when I wasn’t sure if I could do it. Thank you for routing for me during the times I doubted myself the most. Thank you not only for accepting me at my worst, but loving me anyway. Thank you for the Mexican, Chinese, Tai, Italian, and Polish food that we used as our focal point for our gatherings.
Thank you for never allowing my wine glass to be empty or my coffee to be cold. Thank you for never allowing me to quit, even when I told you I was going to do just that. Thank you for sharing my words, not because you felt like you had to, but because you wanted to. Thank you for listening to my endless stories about my grandmother and seeming entertained throughout each and every one.
Thank you for showing up at my front door when I said I was okay, but you knew that was a lie.
For every laugh, every tear, every accomplishment, and every moment of defeat, I needed you all. Every gathering around a table, in a kitchen, or on a porch taught me something. Every time we got to talk, really talk, was a time I appreciated.
Every small smile. Every brief hug. Every kind word. Every ounce of love and support. It was all a gift. So this Christmas I hope you all know that my biggest gift is you. You see Christmas is one day.
Most of the gifts we open are packed away for when we need them, but you? You are a gift that will keep giving day after day, and year after year. One day when all the boxes are put away and all I have are my memories, it won’t be the gifts I unwrapped that I will remember. It will be the people I had in my life.
You are the gift that I am so very happy to have. The best part about this gift is that I get to enjoy it every day for the entire year. Thank you for being my best gift!
This post originally appeared on Jennifer's blog, Outsmarted Mommy.