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Tomorrow, December 1st, I've turned the corner and all roads lead to Christmas. So today I'm taking a deep breath and devoting time to reviewing what's really important to me this holiday season. Every year I set out with good intentions, reaffirming how I'm not going to get caught up in a lot of holiday 'shoulds' and run myself ragged. But ten days before Christmas I lose my focus and by the time Christmas morning rolls around I'm pooped. Yes, I'm able to enjoy the holiday, but sometimes it feels like I'm just going through the motions on Christmas Day.
I guess it really shouldn't come as a big surprise, all that build-up for one single event, how could anything possibly live up to such grandiose expectations? So this holiday season I'm taking a lesson from young Abigail. Remember the second grader in Ms. Anderson's class last year, who sent me a drawing titled: Abigail's Heart? It was a big heart, divided up into blank spaces, waiting to be filled-in with the things that Abigail held dear in her life. Being a second grader, I imagine Abigail's heart tended to change with whatever was center stage in her life at the moment (Mrs. Beecher--that's me--was written in one of the spaces, probably because we'd recently exchanged letters). But Abigail had the right idea. The things I hold dear in my life, especially this holiday season, I need a visual reminder to keep me on course.
Taking a lesson from Abigail, I filled in a copy of Suzanne's Heart the other day with reminders of what I really want to celebrate this holiday season, and I've taped it to the front of my refrigerator--the place where cherished family mementos are displayed.
Tomorrow all roads may lead to Christmas, but I'm at peace about it this year, because I have my heart to guide the way.
If you'd like a blank copy of Abigail's Heart to print for yourself, go to: http://www.emailbookclub.com/photo/heart0209.html
Thanks for reading with me. It's so good to read with friends.
AUTHORBUZZ: With so many new books out every week, we promise these are four that deserve your attention: Margaret Brownley, A Lady Like Sarah; Wendy Nelson Tokunaga, Love in Translation; John B. Olson, Powers; and Zoe Klein, Drawing in the Dust. Go to: http://authorbuzz.com/dearreader
* This month's Penguin Classics book is Under The Sea-Wind by Rachel Carson. To comment on the book and get some holiday recipes from Suzanne, go to: http://tinyurl.com/NovClassics