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The Perfect Holiday Host

 Gezellig [heh-SELL-ick] adjective
Dutch:  A feeling, familiar and warm; comfortable and relaxing; friendly ambiance; cozy atmosphere; convivial; pleasant togetherness.
(Perfection is not on this list)

Oh, the glorious holidays!  There is gift shopping, grocery shopping, cleaning, decorating, baking, cards, parties and then on top of all that – you need to be the perfect host.
The guests are at the door.  This is when it is time to take a moment.  Breathe.  There really is only one thing left on your list to do.  Engage.  
Five years from now, will anyone remember the greasy pan in the sink (or the house isn’t perfectly detailed; or the last batch of cookies aren’t baked…)?  Heck – will they even remember next week?  Hide the pan, dim the lights, ignore the cookies in the fridge. 
Here’s what they will remember, joyfulness, frivolity, connection.  This is what they’ll take home with them that will have a lasting effect.  Even years from now, their memories will be fond — especially if you can get past the superficial chat and get real.  Create an opportunity for individual conversation by inviting someone into the kitchen to get that last pan of cookies in the oven.
Most of us understand the traditions we steep ourselves in are often societal and yet we persist.  Perhaps we need to check in with ourselves and ask if it is really something that brings joy.  This is vital because only after we have understanding can change come about.  Joy-filled preparation is attainable with awareness.
In fact, right now – before the momentum kicks in – breathe.  In this moment, decide what is most important on your list and choose to do only that.  If nothing else, pay attention and make a commitment to yourself for next year.  Your memories of this holiday are just as important as everyone else in your circle. 
If this message doesn’t apply to you.  Look around and see who in your life it does, then offer a little assistance.  There’s no reason you should miss out on the thrill of preparation.  Become a part of it (insist if you must). 
A holiday blessing to everyone who reads this in no matter how you celebrate.  What we all need at this time of year when nature seems bleak is something to look forward to.  Embrace your thing.