Bonnie Bing: Make time for enjoyment on your holiday to-do list

12/14/2013 12:00 AM

12/15/2013 7:39 AM

Here we are in the middle of the season of twinkling lights, shiny ribbon, candies and cakes, candles and lists. Especially lists.

When my dear friend Sally complimented me on an open house I recently hosted for one of my favorite charities, she added, “So you can check that one off.” December will be a blur of activity and gone before we know it, but shouldn’t we have more to prove that we lived through it than just list of accomplished tasks?

Sally’s comment made me think that during this season, more than at any other time of the year, we should be enjoying and taking time (even if it’s only a few minutes) to reflect on holiday happenings. Whether it’s a social event, a family tradition or all those preparations, the effort deserves more than a check mark on a list.

For example, when those Christmas cards are in the mail, you check the list of recipients and then you check off the task on your to-do list. Take a moment right then and also in the next few days to think about the people opening your holiday greetings.

Granted, I’m a full-tilt nut case for the season, as I’ve been told by friends and families for many decades. That’s why I remember vividly last year standing behind a woman at the grocery store who pulled a list out of her purse, turned to me, held up the list and said, “This is why I hate Christmas.” She might as well have punched me in the gut.

I had no snappy comeback because I wanted to sit her down, buy her a cup of coffee and remind her that even though it’s a busy time, it shouldn’t resemble the third ring of hell. As she grabbed the basket and started out I wanted to remind her that this season won’t come again. Yes, December will come again next year, but not this season.

Now, before you e-mail me and tell me to join the real world, know that I, too, have lists. And I get a little anxious getting it all finished on time. But this year I’m making sure I think beyond that big check mark when something is accomplished.

Put this on your list: Throw out the stress and bring on the memories. Check!

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