Clearing the deck before decking the hall

Whatever your religious preference, year-end offers a cornucopia of celebrations. Perhaps your family tradition includes feasting on turkey or Tofurky, followed by exercising credit cards on Black Friday morn. Maybe you display an Advent wreath and light candles as a way to prepare for the Nativity.  Or, perhaps you’re a historian who mourns the attack on Pearl Harbor and remembers the “date which will live in infamy.” So many events to commemorate that “Merry Christmas” just doesn’t cover.


No matter. Pick your holiday. Even if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, use November as a prompt. Choose something to be grateful for—any or many blessings. Gratitude is a gift that keeps on giving, such as being thankful for having a place to live.

Your home is your sanctuary, a sacred space and refuge from the whirlwind of holidays, which includes Thanksgiving, Advent, Saint Nicholas Day (December 6), St. Lucy’s Day (December 13), Friday the 13th, Solstice (December 21st), Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Day and others. So much merriment, so many causes for celebration!

As the year winds down, take a moment to view your living space with fresh eyes. Look intentionally. Instead of absently crossing the threshold, imagine you’re entering a friend’s house for the first time. What are your impressions? Is the area serene and tidy, or chaotic and cluttered? Is stuff piled, with mail overflowing counters and random clothing items draped over chairs? Is there a mess of half-read books, orphaned toys, and dirty dishes? Would you be apologetic if a friend visited unexpectedly? What surrounds you can affect your state of being. Outer order can lead to inner peace, while disorder leads to disturbance. Without conscious efforts, your castle becomes a dump. 

Mid-November can feel like a calm before the storm that pelts with holiday-affiliated chores. Whether you’re decorating for the upcoming Yule or Year, take time to tend:

  • Create a vision. Picture how you want to live. What steps will make your image a reality?
  • Plan your work; work your plan. You house didn’t getting stuffed in a day. If you’re hosting for the holidays, now is not the time to embark on a full-fledged pruning-and-painting scheme. Don’t set yourself up for failure.
  • Boxes of holiday décor languish for most of the year. Sort, cull and donate now, so others can use and appreciate ornaments that no longer spark joyful memories.
  • Keep and display what you love. Be discerning.
  • Simplify. This may be the season of more, but consider subtracting. Even when the nest empties of children, their residual paraphernalia may linger. Return to the rightful owners
  • Create landing/launching pads: a place for everything and everything in its place. Don’t add to your stress with searches for keys, wallet, phone, or purse when you’re hurrying out the door.
  • Embrace your preferences: if something works for you and the others you live with, that’s what matters.

As the northern hemisphere approaches the shortest day of the year, light diminishes. This makes it a perfect opportunity for lightening up. Create a haven on earth, that brings peace to all.

© Joan S Grey, 22 NOV 19 ∞
IndexCardCure™: dreaming of a light Christmas


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