Jumpstart the Enjoyment

Just like that, it’s over. Christmas is behind us.

A local radio station that’s been playing holiday music since November 15th at 3pm (I know because, ahem, I tuned in for the start) is back to playing regular tunes — but they’re easing us into things. Every other song is still a Christmas favorite, thank God.

Something about this year felt less Christmassy than others. The last one that really felt like I was in the midst of the holidays was two years ago. Two years ago, I was halfway to 70. What a thought.

Was that my turning point? Is it all downhill now? Will each subsequent Christmas feel more like any other day of the year?

I don’t think so. Not on my watch, anyway.

This year was a unique one. Two rescue cats meant that a Christmas tree wouldn’t be an option, unless I wanted to have a toppled pine and broken ornaments everywhere. I’ll pass.

Temperatures in the 80s on Christmas day never help to put anyone in the holiday spirit, but as per last night’s post, for the sake of others I’m grateful for the beautiful weather we had.

I took fewer vacation days this year to get into the holiday spirit. Wait, correction. I took zero vacation days. Hm.

I didn’t venture down to Newport Beach for the boat parade like I have in years past.

Note to self: when something’s off, look back at your records and see what made it right, what made it good — what made it happen. While nothing can ever be recreated exactly, there might be other things you can slot into their place to help jumpstart the enjoyment. Since Christmas was a tad blue instead of red and green, maybe I could’ve baked more. Perhaps I should’ve taken more walks to behold the twinkling lights, or spent some time on the sofa reading the good book and reflecting on the ultimate gift.  Maybe I could’ve visited Santa, although sitting on an adult’s lap as an adult seems a bit…creepy.

In all seriousness, there are a lot of things we can do to jumpstart our enjoyment. If life is lacking, find a new leaf to turn over. If travel has been more scarce than you’d have liked, pick a spot on the map and start saving for it. If enthusiasm is lacking, borrow the perspective of a child — go to a playground or a park and take in the sights, sounds and smells in a new way. Conversely, you could also borrow the perspective of a homeless or underprivileged child to see how good you have it.

How good we all have it.

Tonight I am thankful for knowing that no matter how different and transitional Christmas may feel to me, the power to get its magic back is in my hands — the same way it’s been all along. For the ability to jumpstart the enjoyment in any area of my life at any time, I am thankful.

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