It’s now or never as far as Christmas goes.
If you’re anything like me, the holiday crash course begins around Halloween with a parallel list of orange/brown decor beside the green/red one. If you’re clever, with a few additions and deletions, the Trick or Treat decorations morph into Autumnal Pilgrims, easy peasy.
But all the time, your eyes squarely focus on the free-for-all horizon known as Christmas. My desk reveals the mounting chaos that began in October. Layers of manuscript revisions, post-it-notes with one-time brilliance–all mixed in with online gift orders, recipes, lists of lists.
Thanksgiving’s demise transforms our living room into the decoration staging area. My first problem is dusting the furniture before the tinsel is applied. As I clean and polish, I begin scaling back on my ambitious designs. One tree is fine. A table-top display of five lighted houses, instead of ten will suffice. A bauble does not need to hang from every chandelier. Garland down the banister would constitute a safety hazard.
I have excuses for my excuses.
Because I’m fueled by perfectionism, I realized we needed different wrapping paper and ribbons to match the newly established den color scheme. Pine green, not grass green. Brown, not blue. Lavender, not red. As I scouted Target’s wrapping display, I happened to look up at the ornaments. A merry little pig bravely flew on her own sparkling wings.
Standing alone in the aisle, I realized I had surpassed every obstacle, every “no,” every finger shaken in my face, every arrogant “When pigs get wings!” snorted at me throughout my entire life.
And that is no small thing.
Above all else, I have gumption. I have landed on my feet, as my mother used to say, repeatedly.
So I bought that ornament as a metaphor for myself. From time to time now, when the house is still, I make a cup of chai tea, play my favorite Christmas CD The Gift, and allow that pig to show me that I can pull off another lovely Christmas.
More than that, I can indeed fly through the year’s other 364 days. Every year.
I insist you find a personal ornament, too. Something inspiring. More than anything, you deserve to believe in yourself.