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Adulting: Blending in at Christmas...

While on a run, I almost squished the little guy (see him in the photo above?) with my steady stride, but, thankfully, I saw him in time. Sweating and panting, I stopped, admired, and snapped the photo with my phone. My frog friend was in full camouflage mode.

Blending in is not always a bad thing, but it is when people can’t see you and you are in danger of being flattened by their running shoes.

This holiday season, I keep thinking about that little frog. Because my go-to for this time of year is to do the expected activities, which means blending in with my neighbors and family and friends. I buy the tickets to the Christmas market. I make the appropriate cookies. I play the expected songs. But interestingly enough, I’m learning that some of the most unforgettable moments of the holiday season are the unexpected, unique things that aren’t in our usual repertoire.

One of my more memorable holidays was in 2019. We were in England, a place that doesn’t officially celebrate Thanksgiving, and we had no family visiting us at the time. My husband and I had just returned from a lengthy trip and had come home to an empty fridge. So, we went out to eat with some dear friends. The restaurant was quiet with low lighting, and the most Thanksgiving option on the menu was the mulled wine. The dinner was peaceful, stress free, and one of those moments I wish I could freeze frame: it was our own bubble of holiday spirit. It was unexpected, but it was a night to remember.

Living overseas has helped me to accept the non-traditional and unexpected moments that come barging in. I think this holiday, we will all experience a few non-traditional moments. COVID is, unfortunately, still limiting our activities and just being horribly present, hovering in the back of our minds worse than the sour eggnog in our fridge. But, unlike my frog friend, let’s embrace the non-traditional moments. Let’s not blend in or be trampled by the unexpected.

Socrates reminds us that “[t]he secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” And I think that’s what we have to do, because this year will definitely not be camouflaged among the others. It’s full of change and the unexpected. So, let’s remind ourselves that the unexpected can be refreshing. Let’s remind ourselves that the different can provide a way to move forward and even triumph during a difficult season.


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