The great inflatables

I love this time of year. Things are so festive! Houses are decorated inside and out. People are decorated, too, with holiday earrings and pins and sweaters. There are all kinds of gatherings and all kinds of special shows and all kinds of everything.

Something that my best buddy and I like to do when we take our evening walk is admire Christmas lights. There are a couple houses just down the road that have yards full of sparkle. It all looks amazing at night. One house even has great big puffy figures bobbing in the breeze. There’s a Santa and a Snowman and they are quite impressive. Until you see them during the day…and then they are deflated.

When we walk by those same houses during the day, Santa and the Snowman are lying on the ground. They are completely relaxed. Things might be busy around them, but it’s obvious that they are taking their down time seriously. And then night comes and whoosh! Up they go, bobbing and smiling once again.

I think that some of us…maybe many of us…feel the same way during the holidays.

You know what I mean, right? We are all puffed up and smiling, filling up our calendars with fun events. We shop and we wrap and we bake and we do things with people and we do other things without people and we go and we go and we go.

Until we don’t. And then we deflate and we don’t feel like doing any of it for a bit.

I think maybe that deflated time is a good thing. It gives us a chance to rest and to think and to gather our smiles and our energy and our enthusiasm for the next wonderful event. And then, like Santa and the Snowman, we find our zest once again. Whoosh! Time to celebrate!

What’s challenging is that we don’t always honor our need to deflate for awhile. We push and push and make lists and check them twice. We race and zip and zoom. We don’t want to stop. We can’t stop or it might not all get done.

But there’s nothing wrong with that. Maybe it all doesn’t need to get done. Maybe it will be okay and even more than okay if we step back and relax once in awhile. It doesn’t need to be on the front lawn with Santa and the Snowman. Finding our own individual way of deflating might just be essential to our holiday happiness.

So what is it for you? I know what it is for me. Well…there are several things I like to do when I don’t want to do anything. But one thing happened this morning and it was just what I needed.

It snowed. Yes, it snowed and everything was quiet and wonderful and my best buddy and I walked to the park with gentle snowflakes drifting down all around us. We didn’t see anybody out and about. Nobody was in the park. It was just us, looking up at the trees and making mini snowmen that sat here and there and (we hope) brought a smile to whoever came by next. That quiet, beautiful park was a blessing. It allowed me to step back from the Holiday Ho Ho Ho and be…just me. Just me, there with a wonderful dog, playing and appreciating the morning and the moment.

Your deflation moment might not involve mini snowmen and a walk in the park. But whatever it is, find it and enjoy it. Sometimes celebrating becomes constant action. It becomes a lot of what we should do without much recognition of what we might need. Sometimes what we need is NOT to do anything much.

And in honoring that need we can relax for just a moment or two or ten. Everything on the To Do list will be there, waiting for us. Just like the lights and the sparkle and the music are waiting for Santa and the Snowman when they inflate once again every evening.

They always look refreshed from their quiet time. I feel the same way. If your Ho Ho Ho turns to Go Go Go, quietly step back and let your energy rebuild. You won’t miss anything by doing that and when you join the celebration of the season once again you’ll find it fresher and brighter.

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