THERE'S THE LAVISH DECOR that decks the halls during the holidays. Then there's all the other details, intricacies that truly make up the season. From details of gatherings: who, what, where, when; to details of social gatherings: who's coming, what are they wearing, what are we bringing; to details of gift-giving: cost, significance, meaning, personalization; details of dedication-writing; dear, dearest, to, love, from; details of greeting: Merry Christmas, Happy Christmas, Happy Holidays; details of remembering: online, sms, phone call, postcard; and finally, details of reuniting: making the first move, how to act, what to say, what to feel.
The season thrives in details that encourage or even force us to gather, to connect, to celebrate, to forgive, to forget, to pause, to give, to care, before the end of, and the beginning of, yet another routinary year.
But as with all details, they are but minor, less significant parts of a whole. When saturated with very many little things, it's good to step back and see the big picture. What is this season actually about?
For me, it's togetherness. Through over eleven months we are obliged to be a lot of things: a hard-worker, an achiever, a giver, a listener, a thinker, a charmer, a helper, a provider, a risk-taker, a fighter, a lover.
Just once in a year, we are obliged to be none of them.
It's Christmas. Just be there.
Advent Calendar 2011 by Q. Cassetti, qcassetti.squarespace.com