For the past week, my kids have been buzzing. If they weren’t chattering on about what they hoped that Santa would bring them, they were asking me millions of questions about the man in the suit: Did he respond to text messages? What do reindeer eat? Is it daytime in the North Pole right now?
Their excitement is adorable — infectious even. It transports me right back to being a kid, wondering how I would possibly survive three more sleeps until Santa arrived. The joy of watching them open their presents on Christmas morning is something I treasure. But what I’ve really been looking forward to throughout December is today, because the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is my favorite of the year.
A Week With No Expectations
Since Thanksgiving, I’ve been busy creating Christmas magic for the kids. We built gingerbread houses and listened to Christmas podcasts. I created custom videos for them from Santa, and shopped for their gifts, all while tackling year-end deadlines at work. But now that the holiday has passed, I can just relax.
The week between Christmas and New Years is no man’s land. The hustle and bustle of the holidays are mostly behind us, but we’re not yet caught in the demands of the new year. It’s acceptable — encouraged even — to just sit on the couch and relax. The kids are entertained, the mess is par for the course, and I’m free to enjoy some calm and quiet.
Time To Prepare For 2021
I try to make the week between Christmas and New Years a “should-less” time — one where I’m not worried about any to-do list. But like many women I can’t sit still for too long, so I know that I’ll end up spending some time getting our house ready for the next year.
Still, there’s something nice about getting things in order. I love putting on a podcast or some music, and clearing out the old. Whether it’s the kids’ clothes that they’ve grown out of or paperwork in my office that I no longer need, it’s cathartic to feel like I’m starting the new year without any extra baggage.
Space to Reflect
With the year coming to an end, I always find myself reflecting during this week. I think about what went well during the past year, and what I’d like to focus on next year. I’m not huge on New Year’s resolutions, but taking a big-picture look at my past year and the one that is ahead feels great.
Sometimes I journal my thoughts, but more often I just filter through them, while on a walk or cooking. Although 2020 was a totally overwhelming year, I’m proud of the way that I tracked a budget for a full twelve months; and the slowed pace of life I created for my kids. I’ve already started stepping away from my phone more, and I know that I’d like to continue that in 2021. Especially as my oldest daughter takes more of an interest in technology, I want to show her that it shouldn’t be ever-present.
2020 has been a strange paradox: the world seems to have sped up as we tackled unforeseen challenges. But at the same time, day-to-day life has slowed down for many of us, as we’re stuck on home for months on end. This year has been tiring, and so more than ever I’m looking forward to a week of pajama pants, cocoa and calm as I gear up for 2021.
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