Monday, December 23, 2013

At the last minute

First, let me introduce myself. I’m Cheryl Harper, a new Heartwarming author (A Minute on the Lips, coming February 2014), and I’m so happy to have a chance to blog here today. Right now, preparing for Christmas with my family is on my mind. How many times have I answered the same question over the past week? “Are you ready?” Most of the time, I shrug and nod in a “What are you gonna do?” kind of way. Because Christmas is a deadline with no wiggle room, right? The real answer is “No.” I’m not ready. I’m still finding my Christmas spirit.

True confession: as I get older, I seem to be losing my ability to be on time. When I was young, fifteen minutes early was on time and anything after that was late. Time-to-panic late. Now, unless I’m in an airport where I must be an hour early or die, I find myself racing to be on time too much and late often enough that it only causes mild discomfort, not panic. That might be one of the silver linings to getting older: less energy to panic.

This year my Christmas spirit has been on a very slow build. Because I’m a planner, I’ve still made logical lists and crossed them off one by one so I have everything in place (EARLY!), but I’ve been missing that glow. I wish I could blame book deadlines or a heavy work load, but it’s really just me. Now I can see that bells ringing and Santa Claus coming to town don’t wipe away the worries, hurts, and fears of the other eleven months so I have to look harder to find the twinkle.

I’ve always loved the holidays. I’m a fan of over the top, so the decorations, the parties, the food are something to look forward to. This year, it’s taken a little more time, but with every ornament exchange, lunch with my friends, random act of kindness I read about, and card I open, I’m getting it. When I look at the ornament that was my favorite growing up and now hangs on my tree, I remember decorating the tree with my mother and the promise of Christmas morning. It’s a good reminder of where the spirit comes from: love and family and gifts that cost little but mean so much. To me, Christmas has always been about hope. And I want that even if I have to pursue it. I might wish the holiday spirit had hit the day after Thanksgiving, but I’m happy to see it grow even if it is at the last minute.

11 comments:

  1. Oh, Cheryl, this year I am so with you. Yesterday we finally got a tree up. Might decorate it today...

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  2. Hi Cheryl! I always seem to be burning the candle at both ends this time of year. It's important to remember to enjoy it and not worry so much about when things get done. I still have some Christmas cards sitting on my kitchen counter. They'll get there. Maybe as New Years cards, but they'll get there. :)

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    1. What a pleasant surprise they'll be, right?

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  3. Cheryl, welcome to the blog site. So glad to have you on board. Christmas does come whether we're ready or not, so it good to let it organically flow. I love to drive around and see how so many people are way ahead of me in getting up holiday decorations. A lot more outdoor lights I've noticed this year. Good for the organized people.

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  4. Cheryl! Welcome! Your Christmas spirit doesn't have to match anyone else's or meet any criteria but your own. And a slow build is a good thing - maybe it'll last until Valentine's Day. I, too, put the tree up yesterday, but stayed up late to decorate it because I'm in the middle of AA's and want them out of my hair today! Heads up, Cheryl! I'm blowing magic glitter and confetti your way.

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  5. Cheryl,
    We are sooooo glad you're here! I'm a list maker too. And I still have things on my list, but the older I get the important the list becomes and I think I lose some of the glow because I feel I have to be responsible. Arg.

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  6. Welcome Cheryl! Looking forward to reading your first Heartwarming:) We are release day buddies lol. I hope you start to feel the magic of the season more over the next few days:)

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  7. You guys are great! Thanks so much for welcoming me!

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  8. Cheryl, welcome to our Heartwarming family!

    I've been on a slow build with the holidays here too. There's a lot left to do and little time to do it.

    Merry Christmas!!!

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  9. Cheryl, my book, "Just LIke Me," is also coming out in February. It's so exciting! Every Christmas I make a promise to make next year less hectic. Every item on my list is finally complete except for my post tonight. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

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  10. Welcome to the Heartwarming group, Cheryl! I'm glad I'm not the only one running late. My cards are going to end up being New Year's cards this year...if I can get them in the mail soon! Merry Christmas!

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