This Christmas, I would like to take things away from those I love. Rather than buy my husband a new Clive Cussler book, I wish I could take away every harsh word I ever said to him. I’d like to take back all the times I said “Sorry, I’m not in the mood tonight.” Okay, maybe I’ll take back 90% of those. Sometimes, I really am just too darn tired.
Instead of searching for the perfect wool sweater that says “I love you,” I’ll take away the conclusions that I jump to during heated conversations. Misunderstandings happen and differing points of view need to be considered.
When it comes time to take from my kids, I’d like to take away all the times I am unnecessarily critical of their actions. Does it really matter if they fill their plastic cup half full or two-thirds of the way to the top with water? No, it does not. Either way, a kitchen towel will clean up the stain-free, odorless mess, so I should just let them fill it however full they want.
I’d like to call up my friends and take back the times I passed up a chance to meet up. Most of us have husbands and kids, time is short, money is scarce, and we are very tired, but we still need to socialize and share our lives in person.
I still plan to give gifts this holiday season, especially to my kids, because wrapping up an empty box and saying “It symbolizes all the times I was hypercritical this year” seems like a cruel joke to play on a six-year-old. But, I will also reflect on and try to take away the bad habits I bring to my close relationships.