Friday, December 27, 2013

In Search of Holiday Magic: Notices and Wonders

When the first week of December arrived, marking the beginning of the holiday season, I noticed towns in my area being transformed into magical sights. They were adorned with sparking lights, seasonal decorations, and soft music. Retail stores decked their halls with an array of bright ornaments and holiday decor while homes began their own transformation, moving from autumn to seasonal Hanukkah and Christmas delights. Later in the month, just before the Christmas holiday, I continued to notice and wonder as I switched hats from consultant to busy holiday homemaker.

In those early days of December, I felt a unique magic in the air and often paused to notice just what it was or what it was not. I decided that it was not changing weather patterns, nor snowflakes dancing in the sky. I reflected on what was before me, noticing a welcoming newness to the landscape and feeling an anticipation that accompanies the holiday season. I watched the quick pace of shoppers actively pursuing the pleasures of gift giving; school children gleefully preparing for holiday concerts and last days before winter break; travelers readying for family get togethers; and Santa helpers greeting those who longed for holiday magic. While amidst all the the hustle and bustle, I felt the urge to suspend reality for a brief interlude, to freeze the setting, and to become totally immersed in a seasonal experience. My senses were awakened as I noticed the sights, sounds, and smells of Christmastide. While continuing to be lulled by all the noticings and wonders, a sudden sense of what was needed to be accomplished before the holidays jostled me. 

As the snow softly cascaded to the ground that December morning nine days ago, I realized it was time to transform my home. Living in Long Island suburbia, less than an hour away from the New York City experience, holiday expectations are high. I peered out my window to view the neighborhood sights: adorned houses, welcoming wreaths, Santas and snowmen dancing in the yards. Then, I looked back at what was before me, a chaotic mess inside my home. Clutter was everywhere. Strewn across my dining room table
and floor were individual autumn decorations and a variety of boxes ready to be tucked away for another year. As I started to clean the room, I wondered about the overwhelming amount of work it takes to make a house ready for the Christmas season. 

So what did I do? I slipped away to the computer to have a few moments of quiet time, knowing that an opportunity to reflect and write would give me the energy to move mountains or should I say boxes to the attic. Donning the crown of creativity, I slowly moved from my office to the huge task in front of me. I had to accomplish much in a very short span of time so that clutter would take on a new look, "organized chaos." I began the process by thinking about the steps I needed to take. The first step was to immerse myself in a bath of aromatic scents. Potpourri, cinnamon scented pine cones, fragrant candles, and sweet Christmas confections were laid out to perk my senses. Christmas music poured in from the living room to make me "get into" the spirit of the season. Next, brightly colored wrappings and wired bows were assembled to adorn gifts that were poised for a quick exit from the craft room to the tree. But wait, the living room had to be dusted and primed for a picture perfect entrance of the tree. That meant more work so where were the elves when I needed them?  As I moved forward to prepare for a major family event, the countdown began. I paused, thought, and deeply reflected on whether I would meet my deadline and then, without further ado I worked consistently in search of finding the right blend of holiday magic for my home. 

So, here it is two days after Christmas and all the noticings, wonderings, and getting ready tasks were accomplished at a steady pace to bring structure to organized chaos. I invite you to take a peek at how holiday magic came to my house just in time for Christmas. In those short nine days before Christmas, I joined the ranks of dedicated and committed homemakers who take on the loving task of bringing holiday magic for family and friends to enjoy.
From my house to yours, may the magic of the holidays bring you new noticings and wonderings as you transition to the new year.