Nancy Robards Thompson
Nancy Robards Thompson


Jaunty Post

Is it just me, or has this year flown by? It feels like it shouldn’t even be Halloween yet. Probably because Halloween came and went without even a carved jack-o-lantern or toasted pumpkinseed in our household (and I love toasted pumpkin seeds…). Halloween was preempted by deadlines and obligations. There was just no time. Missing that, we held on tight as we careened into November, which is birthday season in our family; then the birthdays gave way to Thanksgiving. Now, here we are sprinting toward the end of 2012.


I realized the other day, I need to slow down and smell the Christmas cookies. Actually, I need to make time to bake some. I need to make time to enjoy my family and the meaning of the season before it’s over and we’re halfway through 2013.


It’s time to take a deep breath and live in the moment.


I’m reading a great book called Ten Zen Seconds by Eric Maisel. Chapter nine, Embracing The Moment, really spoke to me. It’s about the difference between “passing the time” (or in my case, racing through it) and “being present.” Living in the moment. It’s really given me pause and made me think.


How is it that we get so busy that we don’t have time to enjoy life? We get so caught up in planning and scheduling and racing from one thing to the next that we neglect to live. Events that are supposed to be fun and memorable become burdens or worse yet, they slip by because we don’t have time or we we’re present in body, but not in spirit.


The commitments and obligations won’t evaporate – and the truth is, we probably don’t want most of them to go away. I am on the tail end of finishing a book (and thank goodness for book contracts!). I’ve barely made a dent in my Christmas list (probably good for the budget). My daughter will be home from school tomorrow and my father will arrive for the holidays in less than a week. I’m looking forward to his visit because who knows how many more Christmases we’ll share? I don’t want to take a single moment for granted. I am determined to slow down and savor the rest of the month.


What’s your best tip for enjoying the spirit of the season? How do you keep up with family, friends, work, housework, decorating and all those holiday concerts, pageants, and parties and keep your sanity? How do you live in the moment during the holidays?

11 thoughts on “All Is Calm, All is Bright

  1. Nancy–I feel the same way. Where has the year gone? This holiday season we’re going to my parents’ house so it will be easier for me to just get into Christmas once we are there but I’m struggling right now. I have a book due (almost done!), my step-kids’ birthdays, the German Market (I know that’s not a burden but I really wanted to go and it takes a full day!) and a decorating and baking to do. I’m looking forward to all the tips.

  2. Cindy Kirk Cindy Kirk says:

    Great post, Nancy.

    I still send out Christmas Cards. Every year I think about not not taking the time to write up the little letter I enclose, stamp and address the envelopes, but it’s a tradition that’s goes back to when I was in my twenties. And everytime I do it (and yes, I did it this year again) it’s like a favorite sweater wraps around my shoulders and brings me gently into the season.

  3. Connie Fischer says:

    Sometimes the commitments do seem to be a bit overwhelming and that’s when I have no problem with turning something down and backing off a bit. Christmas cards are still sent but I have cut back on them this year and plan to send some greetings via email. Christmas isn’t fun if we take on too much. So, do take time for YOU!

  4. Sandi in OH says:

    My oldest son and his family moved to NC several years ago. I really miss not being able to see the grandchildren’s Christmas programs. My grandmother always told me that the older a person gets, the closer Christmases become. She was right. I still send Christmas cards, some with letters. The house has been decorated for almost two weeks. I may bake or I may not. My son and his family will be here the week-end before Christmas and we will celebrate Christmas on the 22nd. They will leave on the 23rd. We will have another celebration on the 25th. On the 14th we will be attending a Christmas program by the Lettermen. My mom will be 89 next month so we always slow down for Christmas.

  5. Polly says:

    My husband and I write a Christmas letter in the form of a newspaper. We each have our own “column”, which is a fun way to share our year with our friends. I bake and decorate our house and business-I adore Christmas decorations and tree ornaments. So many memories in those ornaments. Since moving from a busy college city to the rural Midwest five years ago, our lives have slowed to a comfortable trot. No more hectic, over-scheduled days. The quiet, slow pace seems to make the holiday months last just a bit longer.

  6. Shana Shana says:

    Great post, Nancy! This year has been easy compared to others. Everything is new to my daughter, who is “getting it” for the first time. That makes it fun for me, too! No wonder people say Christmas is for children.

  7. catslady says:

    I never seem to accomplish it. E. Tolle has books out about the same thing and while I’m reading it I concentrate on doing just that but unless it’s the only thing I read, I soon go back to old habits.

  8. Quilt Lady says:

    I don’t keep up with things this time of the year, I just roll with the flow.

  9. CateS says:

    Downsize your decorations and hit up some Cookie Walks for baked items… Convince your family to do a charity project together instead of the buying frenzy.. Play Dirty Santa with adults instead of giving everyone a gift… do holiday potlucks instead of hosting parties where you have to do all the cooking… Rent party room for the family get-together, so you don’t have to go overboard on house cleaning & decorating…
    pick & choose what works for you….

  10. What a great post, Nancy! I think the key for me is to wait until closer to Christmas to start pondering these questions…and shopping…and baking…and decorating! We generally don’t start till mid-December, and somehow, it all gets done. Haven’t had a bad holiday yet!

  11. Ann s. says:

    I just try to relax and not worry, everything will get done. I don’t stress over long lines at stores, because I go out with a positive attitude. I know I will get the Christmas cards out and the house will end up with a tree. I want to enjoy the holidays too, not stress out trying to make it perfect.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Keep in contact through the following social networks or via RSS feed:

  • Follow on Facebook
  • Follow on Twitter
  • Subscribe