As I’ve become older and busier, each Christmas slips by ever faster.
You can never be as carefree as a young child when all you had to do is write your letter to Santa, be good and go to bed early on Christmas Eve. As you grow older, you begin to see how much more complicated the world can be. Eventually, you discover that Mom and Dad work as Santa’s elves south of the the North Pole and someday that job will be yours.
Recognizing the acceleration of time – or at least my perception of it – with each passing year, I’ve adopted a method of slowing down the season.
I start a little earlier every year – not quite as early as my friend, Vanessa who had her Christmas lights up by Remembrance Day but at least before the 1st of December, so that I can enjoy the lights and the tree even longer.
As a rule of thumb, you’re at the cutting edge of Early Christmas if you started decorating before the malls and department stores.
To get into the spirit, I start listening to my Christmas playlist before any local stations enter their all-Christmas-all-the-time zone. I start watching my favourite Christmas DVDs before they are broadcast on T.V.
Last weekend, we watched “Elf” , “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” and “Santa Clause 2.” Next weekend, we plan to watch “A Christmas Carol” (the Alastair Sim version), “A Christmas Carol” (the Disney Version) and “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” (the Mickey Mouse version).
The acceleration of time is not just a function of your age. The more things you have on your to do list, the less time you have to work with. If your calendar is filled with back to back functions, you won’t have much time to sit by the fire reading Dickens and sipping from a mug of egg nog.
At some point, we have to choose how we will spend our time. There are some events that are mandatory, such as the family Christmas dinner. When it comes to your precious discretionary time, don’t overcommit.
Slow down the season, and savour every moment – every Christmas carol you sing, every ornament you hang, every gift you give, every present you open, every smile and every hug.
Coming up: Conquering holiday stress and the Christmas blues.