In the Still and in the Merry

656c-treeI always feel quieter this time of year.  There’s hustle and bustle around me, and I’m busy with holiday preparations myself.  But I also feel…quiet.  And decidedly not crazy.  I work (it takes conscious effort) to not succumb to the crazy at this time of year.

There are stories out there about the perfect this and the perfect that.  Thanks to social media, we have a steady stream of snippets (visual and verbal) of what others are doing and having and how they’re being.  And sometimes that’s inspiring.  And sometimes it’s overwhelming.  It’s easy to cross that line.

Nobody’s anything is perfect.  Parts of it might be very pretty.  But guaranteed, there’s grit there too.  As we move towards the close of this year, I’m reflecting on the pretty parts of this past year; I’m also thinking about the gritty parts…the times I stumbled, the times I cried, the times my heart broke.  Those parts colored my experience, and I want to honor them too.

And so, on the heels of Solstice and on the (almost) eve of Christmas, I invite you to take a few moments to look around you.  Take it in…your life.  The dishes, the crumbs on the counter, the twinkle lights, the book you’re reading or writing, the about-to-overflow garbage pail, the sunlight falling onto the floor.  Just get still for a few moments and see the messes right alongside the beauty.

The shopping will get done, the wrapping will get done, the gathering will get done. But will you take these moments to notice?  A pause here and a pause there make all the difference.  They really do.  I know because I’ve learned to take them…am still learning…am still practicing (because I forget sometimes) (and I need to be reminded).

Wherever you call home and whatever you celebrate this time of year, I wish you peace and joy and stillness.  I wish you pause and reflection.  I wish you cookies and hugs and merriness.  I wish you goodness.

Sending a little (extra) love your way, m



15 thoughts on “In the Still and in the Merry

  1. Merry christmas!!! I am knee deep in busy and I am fondly looking back at the quiet I usually have. However, the busy and the chaos are all due to my son and soon my daughter and son in law arriving. That is the best reason to feel overwhelmed!! I am writing lots of daily lists (that haven’t failed me) and I am soaking in bits of quiet and peace when I find the time.

    1. glad for those lists ;)
      and so glad to hear about the fullness of your family days. I can hear the joy and love in your words here.
      happy holidays to you and yours, Karen! x

  2. Beautiful words Michelle. I am settling in for a quiet Christmas and am looking forward to not having much to do, there could even be the odd afternoon nap on the sofa…bliss. Wishing you and your family happiness and many good things this festive season. Much love, Jane xx

  3. Your words are poetic and touch my heart so this morning. It is raining this morning, the kind of rain that gets one wet! The house is quiet and Basil is sleeping beside me. Come Christmas morning the house will be full of four dogs and grown men and their wives and the garbage will always need to be taking out. They will fill each empty bedroom with the “stuff”, which will overflow into every nook and cranny. I will be tripping over their shoes and emptying the dishwasher one more time. It will glorious and I won’t miss one tiny moments!
    Thank you for all the gentle wisdom you share. It is an honor to be part of it. Merry Christmas!

  4. Over the pond here we are in the grips of Storm Barbara, (it’s really just a load of high wind and rain and nothing like your named tornado’s etc) but warm and toasty in my imperfect home, and I love it. Hope you have a cool Yule and thanks for reminding me to be grateful for everything, perfect or not.

  5. Michelle, you have a gift for touching the hearts of your readers with your words and sentiments. Love reading your posts. I’m in a hotel room in Ohio right now after spending the evening with family and will be on the road soon to visit my granddaughter and family in Chicago. Some time to pause and reflect between visits with famiy……wonderful. Merry Christmas to All and till next time.

    1. oh, Betty, you’re so kind. thank you, and I’m glad you’re here.
      wishing you sweet and safe travels as you visit your family. wishing you pauses.
      merry christmas!! xo

  6. Michelle, as soon as I read the subject line in my mailbox I knew it was from you. Still and merry. Comfort and joy. Last night I dreamt of my (long deceased) grandparents. They were sitting on a bench in our backyard, along with Rob, and still small Kate, Mary and Michelle. They smiled at me and gestured for me to join them but I shook my head no; I had to vacuum the living room before the girls’ playmates came. As I vacuumed, I regretted not joining them but when I returned to the back door they were gone.

    I awoke shortly thereafter and as I reflected on the dream I knew it was a message from my grandparents to remember to stop and smell the roses. Or in this case, the pine boughs and cedar.

    Merry Christmas, my dear friend. Thank you for always knowing what to write. My heart is always touched by your words. xx

    1. I like that you knew it was me. xo
      thank you for sharing your dream with us…wow, what a sweet and powerful dream.
      love how it dovetails with this post.

      merry Christmas to you and yours, Grace.
      {and thank you for your kind words}

  7. It is truly a pleasure to sit here in the morning quiet house with my cup of tea and read your words and hear you. Hear your heart and mind. Listen to what you say. I’m very grateful to know you, my friend. I may need a second tea. Would you like one? Even if I’m in this sweat soaked menopausal nightgown and kind of smell like I just played a football game? I just laughed. You’d hug me anyway. And I’d hug you. Peace, Michelle. Peace. oxoxoxox


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