I didn’t grow up watching It’s a Wonderful Life but thanks to one of my brothers-in-law, my husband and I have a now-long standing tradition of watching It’s a Wonderful Life each year. The kids watched with us a handful of years but it’s not their cup of tea. My husband and I continue our tradition regardless. As has always been the case, I cry at the end of the movie. My eyes are not just teary, they fill to the brim, the tears run down my cheeks. The movie has a few lines/phrases/behaviors that aren’t appropriate in this day and age, I know, but I’m able to suspend those for the greater message, the underlying sentiment. The underlying sentiment is what fills the tears that run down my cheeks.
I grew up watching White Christmas. For many years (decades) I stopped watching it. Last year, one of my sisters reminds me of the movie, mentions how she watches it on repeat during the month of December. Last year, I watch it and am reminded how much I love it, am reminded of watching musicals while growing up. I watch it again this year, over the course of two mornings, curled up on the couch with a cup of coffee, sitting next to the Christmas tree, the kids still sleeping, my husband already off to work. I cry towards the end of the movie. It’s that underlying sentiment thing again, unlocking something inside me.
We bake cookies, we wrap a few presents, we take the pup for walks. I teach three yoga classes, even quieter and softer than usual. I want us all to have time on the mat to be gentle with ourselves, to then carry this quieter-softer-gentler way of being into the rest of our day, our week, our holiday.
I make a list of the things I need to do, erase something that would be good to do but doesn’t absolutely need doing right now. It feels good to erase that line, feels good to recognize that it can wait for next week. I am torn about a gift I’d like to make someone, a gift that is impromptu and would be lovely to give but which will also mean a bit of crazy-making for me. I decide not the make the gift, write a thoughtful note instead, tucking my heart inside words, adding a strip of washi tape to the envelope, sending it on its way. Sometimes enough is really quite good.
I remember that I have choices in all of the doing that I do. I have to keep reminding myself, and this reminding is a task in and of itself, though I try to see the reminding as a practice. Gently framing it as a practice provides me with a soft foundation from which to move (and choose) (and grow) (and give). I need this softness. I need this practice. It unlocks something inside me.
Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling.
~ Edna Ferber ~
Merry Christmas to you!
Wishing you gentleness and softness in the amounts you need.
Be safe, be well, be kind.
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