The Lust for Christmas

There are seven more days until Christmas.  So many of my friends and family members who are still in the “working set” are frantically preparing for the big day.  Working from eight to five each day, then rushing home to cram in some holiday festivities – parties, shopping, holiday events, visiting the Christmas light displays, baking those cookies, wrapping those presents – arghhhhhhhh!  The list goes on and on, and those people are STRESSED!  There are simply not enough hours to fulfill all the expectations of THE BIG DAY!

I am not sure exactly what happened when I retired, but my perspective has changed.  This morning I was reading an article by Josh Becker at Becoming Minimalist which included this quote:

 “We waste so many days waiting for the weekend.
So many nights wanting morning.
Our lust for future comfort is the biggest thief of life.

It occurred to me that the same is true about Christmas.  We are lusting for a day which will occur in a week – and often times, we miss the pleasures that are right in front of us.  The delicious morning coffee.  The twinkle of the lights on our own tree.  The contented sigh of the dog lying at our feet.

Don’t get me wrong.  My sisters and I baked 29 dozen cookies last weekend to share with anyone who will take them.  But I think it was not so much about the baking or the cookies, as it was about the laughing and being together on that day…in that moment.

I know it is easier for those of us who aren’t trying to hold down full time employment.  We have the luxury of having more time to prepare.  But my wish for all is that you will pay attention to the moments in each day, and not just chase blindly forward in preparation for an event which will last about 12 hours.  I hope that your lust for Christmas will not be the biggest thief of your week!

Lynn

28 thoughts on “The Lust for Christmas

  1. Jane Fritz

    So well said, Lynn. I’m not sure why it’s so hard for most of us – women – (myself excluded by some happy fluke of nature) to choose what to do and what not to do rather than think we have to do it all. Retirement shouldn’t be the only solution to this challenge! Merry Christmas!!

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  2. www.retirementreflections.com

    ‘Living fully in each moment’ is great advice, Lynn. For me, this has been much easier to do in retirement…and I am very grateful for this!

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  3. travelswithfran

    This is my first year of being really retirement and the thing I am enjoying most is visiting with friends and having three-hour lunches with them! So happy I am not having to work and to do all the usual routines around getting ready for Christmas

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  4. Shallow Reflections

    I love Christmas, but have learned through the years not to view it as a single day. I love the advent season and celebrate the religious significance of the holiday through singing in my church choir, and worshiping with my friends and neighbors. I don’t stress over sending Christmas cards any more or do holiday baking. I will make a dessert for Christmas dinner and I’m looking forward to that. I love the lights and the dark days as we approach winter solstice. And the joy of spending Christmas Day with our son and his family is a highlight. But we continue to keep our tree up and enjoy it until epiphany. This is my first year of semi-retirement and that has helped me relax more, but I haven’t added activities or tasks just because I have more time. And I stopped cleaning the house about two weeks ago. It’s so dark the dust doesn’t show. 😉🎁❄️🎄

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    1. Encore Voyage Post author

      Oh, I like the way you think, sister! The dust doesn’t show – Nope, I’m not cleaning anymore either! I love the lights, too, and we also keep our tree and lights up until epiphany. Sounds to me like you have this no stress Christmas thing figured out! Merry Christmas! ~ Lynn

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  5. patwdoyle11

    So many changes in traditions this year combined with limited energy that the whole season feels a bit odd. I am enjoying the tree & Christmas music, but stressing a bit about what I’m not doing! Hah! Hubby keeps telling me to “chill” and let it all go. Easier said than done.

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  6. Liesbet

    No stress here and no lust for Christmas. As a matter of fact: not even plans for Christmas. But, I do recognize the feeling of “It’s almost Christmas”, or “the end of the month”, or “the weekend”… and thinking, is it worth it to get into this project, or try to finish writing this chapter. In the end, every day is the same, it is just the meaning we give and attribute to special days. As minimalists ourselves, Christmas doesn’t affect us too much.

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  7. Joe

    It always takes concentration for me to “live in the present”, especially the week before Christmas. It is much easier though, now that I have retired and have more time for the here and now.

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  8. Terri Webster Schrandt

    I used to stress out about the entire holiday season like so many women do! It’s much simpler now (if you can call packing for 2 weeks in SoCal with family and a week in Hawaii simple). I always enjoy being in a warmer climate for the Christmas holidays, but there was a time when my whole family came up to me. Of course I cooked, cleaned and decorated, but now not so much. I break out the Christmas mugs right after Thanksgiving and savor those cups of coffee in them! Merry Christmas, Lynn!

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  9. Claudette

    This is a great quote! I yearn for minimalism, less is more…but in a house with kids and stuff, it’s so hard to stay on top of it all.

    What is it about Xmas that has everyone so frenzied? It’s like a wedding…so much time and planning (and money) for one day that is over in 24 hours just like all the others….lol.

    The point I think is to be mindful of the experiences more than the actual physical, tangible stuff.

    PS the cookies look delicious. 🙂

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    1. Encore Voyage Post author

      You know, I can really give you a pass if there are kids in the house. For children, the anticipation and all the hoopla is what makes the memories. As long as you remember to take time each day for you! ~ Lynn

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  10. Deb

    I am of that working group who hungers for the weekend…week after week after week…I think I could also hunger for one of your cookies!! They look delish. You are so right about Christmas…let’s not forget what it’s really all about! Wishing you, your husband and all of your family a very Merry Christmas Lynn! 🙂

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      1. Deb

        Awe thanks Lynn, I love your wish for me…how very thoughtful and kind of you! I do take time each night to meditate for 15 minutes….I love it…quiet my mind from the day and listen to what God has to say to me…xo

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