Okay, the feasts have been eaten, the relatives have arrived and departed, and what passes for Black Friday 2009 has come and gone.
And now the race is on, through Hanukkah and Christmas and Kwanzaa to New Year's Eve. Gifts are being ordered and sent or purchased and wrapped. Decorations are going up. And party plans are being made. And before you know it, the big ball in Times Square will be making its drop into 2010.
Before 2009 bows out, can we just take a minute and stop? Just a minute here and there to:
Notice the way an ice-covered twig or branch looks in the morning light
Take a deep breath of the scent of baking cookies and think back to memories of that same tantalizing smell from childhood
Go for a walk and leave the iPod at home. Listen to the sound of boots on the snow or the crash of waves on the beach or the laughter of kids on a playground
Call an old friend from school and trade memories of the silly things you did and thought back then
Stand still and look at a frozen pond at sunset, the winter woods in the middle of the day or a tree moving in the wind. Really see, not with your mind on shopping lists or guest counts, but on the beauty right there in front of you
Make a nice meal for two and take it to a homeless person. Sit down with them, and hear their story while you share the food you made.
Wake up early and watch the light change in your bedroom as the sun rises. Look at the colors, the shadows, the effect on things in your room, as each item is illuminated
2009 is almost gone. It will never return. Instead of rushing madly, blindly into 2010, make the remaining month of this year really count. Happy December.