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When Your Body Ignores That It's Christmas

Kristin reflects on the holiday season that was -- and could have been.

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The Christmas cards.

The damn Christmas cards.

They are my big accomplishment this holiday season.  (At least they're damn cute.)

I missed the holiday markets, the Messiah concert, the holiday home tour, the holiday street party, the cute little puppies always up for adoption on the first Saturday of the month who must have looked extra enticing dressed in their Santa hats -- you name it, I missed it this holiday season.  (Somehow I didn't miss the extra work obligations that were loaded on my plate this November and December.  Funny how that works.)

But I took to Facebook and proudly boasted of mailing out my holiday cards on time, writing that I might possibly be as organized as I was when I was 16 years old.  One friend was sullen that I beat him to the mailbox with all of my letters to friends far and wide.  Ha ha! I thought and felt great pride.  For about a millisecond.

Because I know the truth.

Something happened on my way from September to December:  a trip to the emergency room (my aforementioned breast cancer scare).  Along the way, I had to let go of my usual expectations for this holiday season -- not an easy task for a perfectionist like myself.

Something happened on my way from September to December:  a trip to the emergency room (my aforementioned breast cancer scare).  Along the way, I had to let go of my usual expectations for this holiday season -- not an easy task for a perfectionist like myself.

But as I've reminisced about Christmases past, it's dawned on me that you don't remember how many parties you attended, or how perfectly you baked and frosted the gingerbread men, or what gifts you gave and how you wrapped them.  (God knows I need a list to track my gift giving so I don't give the same gift twice to the same person!)

After the fatigue from putting away the ornaments is a distant memory, what you remember is laughing in the kitchen with your family, the first Christmas with a newborn, catching up with old friends over coffee, receiving an unexpected gift or watching your cat roll around in the wrapping paper and ribbons.

It's the moments that don't wear on the joints that seem to be the key to unlocking the magic of Christmas ...

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