|Olivia, Bryan and obedient little David Bowie|
(and the living room where I will be setting up my aerobed Christmas Eve!)
Christmas eve we will honor my tradition of going out for Chinese Food (or perhaps Thai this year, because Portland has some of the best Thai restaurants I have been to), then off to Peacock Lane to join the hundreds of others walking the few blocks, hot lattes or maybe even a microbrew in hand, to view one of Portland's most lit up neighborhoods. You can walk the few blocks, take a carriage ride, or if you must, drive your car. I suppose that will be weather dependent. Buckets of rain would call for a warm dry car, a light drizzle could entice us perhaps to take a carriage ride, and if it is a mild star filled night, definitely a walk, umbrellas in hand as a precaution, this is Portland after all. I really am hoping for that clear night, where the moon and stars will compete with the seasonal brightness and can be spotted half-way around the world.
Letting go of all expectations - kicking the butt of those Ghosts of Christmas past - and making new traditions. Ah, I can exhale. Accepting that we don't have to have a turkey dinner, crab and chicken enchiladas seem to be my "new black" for the holiday, no need to string cranberries and popcorn for the tree, lots of lights will do me fine, no need for gingerbread houses and copious amounts of baked goods. Just letting the feeling of gratitude, that Christmas feeling and spirit spill all over me (probably rather sloppily after one too many eggnogs).
As a Feng Shui practitioner and teacher I give my clients and students the "assignment" of starting a gratitude journal. They have been around forever, made even more popular by Oprah and "The Secret". Every night I write down things that I am thankful for, which on some days it can be a stretch to think of anything good! But it could be something as simple as my morning cup of coffee (which actually makes the list everyday), hearing from a friend, receiving a Christmas card with an adorable Westie on the cover, making every green light, that my jeans aren't too tight, going to Trader Joe's and finding my favorite popcorn in stock, to much bigger things, like getting a raise, receiving a clean bill of health from the doctor, a new addition to the family. But just as important is the need to be grateful for the things that didn't happen. That for today, everyone we love is okay, is healthy. No distressing phone calls, no bill collectors, no pimple on my forehead, or worse on the end of my nose, no flat tire, no friends to bail out of jail! Just for today. All is good.
So I hope all of you enjoy this holiday - even if it presents itself a little differently. Maybe a different menu, someone else's house, new members of the family, less members in the family, different games, snow, no snow, or an aching back from sleeping on an under inflated aerobed. It really isn't about anything more than love.