I'm fully prepared to be judged mercilessly here. But I'm saying it anyway: This holiday season, I'm resolving to be greedy.
It actually started a few weeks ago when I reached out to a friend I hadn't seen in months because I was thinking of her. I figured that she'd be too busy with the holiday season approaching, to make any real plans to get together, but as it turns out she was thinking of me too, and over an impromptu lunch date, she said to me, "When I got your email, I was in the middle of drafting and re-drafting an email to you because I wanted to book you for both of my book clubs this spring, and I didn't want to seem greedy." (Swoon.) She was being serious and I was all - how could she worry that more time together might be a bad thing? But then again, there I was feeling guilty that I'd stolen her away during a busy time of holiday preparations for a lunch date that could have waited until 2019, and I thought:
Well, we should all be so lucky to have such greedy friends.
The preciousness of time has been a topic in our little community lately, as we have all been touched by the story of Anthony Myers, a 16 year old school friend of my son's who was diagnosed with brain cancer this fall. (www.team17strong.org).
And recently, the mother of a son in my kids' elementary school passed away tragically. She was only a few years older than me, and yet she's spent her last Christmas with her son.
Sadly, I also got news this week that a boy from my grade school class died suddenly. And I say "boy" because even though he was a 48-year old man at the time of his passing, he will always be a rosy-cheeked, kind-hearted, mischievous 10- year old boy in my mind's eye. It's hard for my brain to wrap around the fact that he isn't 10 anymore. Or 17. And that I'm not either.
Because time is like that. While we're busy scrambling and listing and shopping and decorating and baking and showing up for all the things we think we should do, time is quietly and greedily stealing whole chunks of our life away.
I can't sit by idly and let that happen. I'm stealing time back.
I'm not sending holiday cards, because you've seen the best pictures I could get of my brood this year on my Instagram feed. (No really, they were the BEST. You should have SEEN the outtakes!)
I'm not getting all worked up about how many varieties of cookies I get baked, or whether the piles under the tree are exactly even. I've shopped. I've wrapped. I'll likely shop and wrap a bit more. But honestly, this Christmas season, stealing time seems more important than anything I can give.
And so I've actually been using valuable Christmas shopping days, to, well - not shop. (Cue gasp here.)
The kids and I skipped a weekend of scheduled sports and other activities (steady yourself) and went to New York City instead to gawk at the Rockefeller tree, take in a show with friends (who were also stealing some time away from the Christmas season chaos), and cheer on street performers.
I stayed out late this week on a school night to catch up with another friend I haven't seen in a while over dinner while the kids texted furiously: Where are you? I need help with Math? Come home now! I silenced my phone and I kept on having a grown-up conversation because Math can wait. (If you need proof - math was still there when I got home. So there.)
Christmas is less than a week away, and while there are gaps on my lists, dust in my house, and cookies that will never get baked, there is also a collection of stolen moments this month that have been good for my soul. And so, when you ask me if I'm ready for Christmas, I'll tell you: Yes. And who knows? I might stay greedy and keep stealing into 2019.