Saturday, December 1, 2007

A Package of Time

I need Christmas to come with a package of time. I've become used to convenience packaging, and I'd like Christmas to come with a bit more ease. It's hectic, it's franic, and it too crammed together. No, that is not a plea for the holiday season to start earlier! Heck, most of the stores have Xmas stuff up about the time they put out Halloween costumes and decor. No, I just need longer hours. It's the decorating, entertaining, holiday cards, shopping, wrapping, and mailing that deserve more of my time and devoted interest. I also want more time to enjoy each of those things. Every time I begin a project for the holidays I feel rushed; I feel like it all needs to be finished right now, today, as quickly as possible. While I do each item, I enjoy it, but that pressure to rush, to get it off my To Do List, seems to interfere with that enjoyment. I can sit and stare at my Christmas tree for hours, but there never seems to even be one hour when I can enjoy the light show. I don't seem to have the time to watch the play of the lights on the ornaments and on the icicles. I'm too worried about the ones that have fallen, or a package that needs wrapping, or one that needs to be rearrange. I never seem to have the time to think long and lovingly of all the good times I spent with the folks I correspond with at Christmastime. I remember them briefly with a sigh that our friendship has come down to an annual exchange of cards with short notes. It doesn't mean I treasure them less, it only means that time has gotten compressed into those few days of holiday time. Occasionally, I get to reconnect with a long time friend to make new memories to treasure. But, those times are fewer and farther between as our families grow and our time gets shorter. I love prettily wrapped gift packages, too, but gift bags have become so much easier, haven't they? They don't stack worth a darn under the tree though, do they? They're hard to arrange under the branches, and the handles make them difficult to maneuver. Entertaining takes 8 hours to arrange, 4 hours of visiting, half of which one is tending to cooking or other duties, and 4 hours of clean up. Is it worth it, absolutely, but it makes the actual gathering seem all the more rushed and compressed. Where did those leisurely meetings with friends we had when we were kids go? Where did the afternoons at play, the slumberparties, the hours at the movies, and then dinner and maybe then hanging-out afterwards fade into the netherworld of meetings and must-dos? I don't know. I want it all back - all that time I used to have. I want those times with friends back, in more than treasured memories. I want to dawddle in front of my tree with a good book and my feet warming by the fireplace. I want to eagerly await Santa, and I want to tear into my gifts with the abandon of a child again. I want time back. I want it back for all of us. I want it packaged for convenience so there is more time for remembering, for seeing, for doing, and most important, for being together with those we most care about - our families, our friends, and ourselves at leisure. So, to all you inventors out there - come up with a holiday package of time, please. I'll be first in line to buy.

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