A moment’s peace

Christmas gift and baubles on defocused lights background

The holidays are upon us, and I have one simple holiday wish for you this year.

Amid the hustle and bustle of the next week or two, I pray you’ll find a few moments of quiet and calm in which to take in the blessings of this season. I wish you a moment’s peace. (If you need one right now, try this.)

I remember in the days before my wedding, someone gave me an invaluable piece of advice. She suggested that I take an extra moment at the front of the church, at the end of the ceremony just before my new husband and I processed out, to pause and take in the image of all of our loved ones gathered together. She reminded me that it was a congregation of people unlikely ever to be in one place again. She was right.

To this day, I’m grateful I paused to take it in. Without her advice, that moment would have passed unnoticed in the rush of emotions and the joyful anticipation of greeting guests and getting to the reception.There’s not a single photo capturing that moment – at least not from my vantage point – but it’s one that burns the most brightly in my memory.

The holidays are like that too, aren’t they? It would be easy to miss the most magical moments as we hurry through each activity, eyes ahead to the next. So amid all the wrapping paper and to-do lists, will you look for moments to slow down, take a breath, and take it in?

I’ve done it this December, and here are a few things I’ve noticed:

  • My three year old turning off the gas fireplace as she whispered to herself “Now, we don’t want Santa to burn his bottom, do we?”…
  • My six year old moving to prominent spots on the tree all the ornaments that HE’S made or with HIS photo…and whispering to himself.. “There. Now THAT’s better.”
  • My nine year old’s confident and expressive voice reading a letter from Tiptoe the Elf to her siblings as they huddled at the foot of her bed…
  • My mother’s hands rolling traditional nut-horn cookies on the wooden cutting board she’s used my whole life…
  • My husband’s broad, exuberant smile as he videotaped our children gleefully climbing onto Santa’s lap to share their wish lists at Breakfast with Santa…
  • Three little red-cheeked faces seated around our kitchen island, warming up their cold hands with hot cocoa after an afternoon of sledding and snowman making.

The holidays are a whirlwind for all of us. But let’s not allow  these special weeks to elapse in an exhausting marathon of must-do’s without finding a few opportunities for moments of pure joy…of gratitude…of awe.

Search out these wondrous moments and when you find them, pause to soak them in. I’m confident they’ll be among your favorite memories to unpack in the years to come.

Here’s to finding a moment’s peace before 2014 arrives!

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