Pre-holiday anxiety can set in pretty quickly, so it’s important to do everything you can to stay focused on the joy. Just because I went into the post office today to ship a birthday package to my son in Canada, and there was a long line already, doesn’t mean that I have to get all scrooged up about it. And just because I filled out the longish customs form and was told I had to go back over everything I’d written so that it would show up on the last page of the quadruplicate doesn’t mean that I should feel any anxiety (especially with a long line forming behind me already). It must mean that now is the time to breathe, relax, and enjoy. Hey, Fort Bragg doesn’t even have any traffic to speak of. No malls, no big box stores, no vast parking lots where you can’t find your car. We do have a tree lighting ceremony, a festival of lights in the Botanical Gardens, several craft and art fairs, and a performance of the Nutcracker every year at the groovy refurbished Cotton Auditorium.
Well, actually, we say there is traffic if it takes us 12 minutes to get to work in the morning instead of 10. And we have a holiday truck parade where practically the whole town turns out no matter what the weather, and the aforementioned tree lighting ceremony, and kids parties at the aquatic center and all kinds of fun, small town homey reasons to love the season. Here at Living Light, we’ve already had a meeting to plan the entertainment, food, and decor for our annual party, and we’ve agreed in the admin office to put off playing holiday music until after Thanksgiving. We’ve started to bring in little treats for each other, and take an extra minute to be kind and considerate of our coworkers. That’s how it starts to creep in…that holiday spirit that takes hold of your heart, brings a tear to your eye when you watch the season’s favorite movies for the umpteenth time, and helps you remember the spirit of the season: Peace on Earth, Goodwill towards men (and women, and children, and animals.) Yeah.