Holiday hoopla keeps many people over-the-top-busy. Others feel idle, maybe lonely. As a young mother, I experienced both extremes within a few years and struggled to find a sense of balance. Oddly, I came down with holiday amnesia. It started with birthday blank-outs.
Our daughters reconciled my forgetfulness by writing on the “shopping list” the items so desired for their birthdays, allowing time to wrap the present themselves. They’d unwarp the gifts and act surprised and delighted, asking, how did I know exactly what to get.
Sometimes my husband shopped for the girls’ birthdays, but I think my amnesia was contagious to him. Or maybe I caught it from him. Either way, it seeped into the holidays.
My forgetting to run around and find perfect gifts during the holidays, however, hasn’t made me forget the meaning of the holidays. It’s the same as every day. It’s the meaning of building trust, family, and community. I talk in my memoir, I Am My Father-Mother’s Daughter, about a power higher than myself and some of the people who gave me the gift of building a trust in a goodness that knows no bounds.
Stress isn’t a gift from God. Neither is forgetfulness. But forgetting to be stressed isn’t forgetfulness, it’s remembering God’s goodness.