Saturday, December 11, 2010

Holiday Simplicity

I love Xmas lights. It's one of the things I love best about the Dec. holidays. Recently I drove down College Avenue, a street that runs from Oakland to Berkeley. It's filled with restaurants, cafes, home decor shops, boutiques, etc., etc. I used have a love/hate relationship with the avenue. I say love/hate because it's filled with many things I had wanted/desired or thought I "should" have to live a satisfying life yet those items felt out of reach... It was like the items housed in these stores belonged to someone else having a more productive life.... Yet, as I drove down the street on this past night, I looked up at the blue lights strewn across the tree tops that align the street and was amazed at their beauty. My eye then traced down the tree-line to the red-lit globes floating on the trees next to the street corner. The street looked magical. It had been a few years since I'd lived near this avenue and I tried to recall if I've ever seen the avenue decorated so beautifully. I couldn't remember but then I thought, why should this year have been any different? Perhaps this street had always been decorated with beautiful lights yet I failed to notice. I remembered the stress of holidays past, filled with worrying about getting the right gifts, etc., etc. I probably had looked at the lights cynically because they reminded me of the pressure to shop for the holiday. No matter the reason I hadn't noticed then in the past, they filled me with wonder now and made me very happy.

This year, I'm only exchanging gifts with my immediate family and there is very little to buy. I'm also in the process of selling off what I don't need. I've been watching the holiday shoppers - some happy, some stressed and I'm glad that I'm not joining in on this annual splurge. Not having that pressue has given me the time and space to enjoy what I really love about the holiday. For me it's as simple as sparkly lights. Well, that and a gift-card to my favorite coffee-house. It's all icing and candy-canes after that :)

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