Don't we all love a good surprise? We man not choose to admit it, but we normally really enjoy getting something wonderful that we don't expect. Sometimes it is free tickets to a show, a coupon that gives us something we enjoy at a reduced price, or finding cash in a coat from last winter. Those kind of surprises come out of nowhere...and for them, we are usually quite grateful.
Other surprises include lines when we had everthing perfectly timed, being unable to find a specific ingredient for a dish we have to prepare, or unexpected expenses at the worst possible time. And sometimes those surprises tend to try to steal our joy.
We can prepare...but we cannot completely eliminate all of the negative surprises that come our way. The holiday season is full of opportunities for there to be more stressors than normal...but it is also chock full of chances to be pleasantly surprised...especially if we are paying attention.
Sometimes you can think of the holiday like a bag of microwave popcorn. It sits there dormant and full of potential until something changes. You place it in the microwave to heat the substances inside the bag to a point where the kernels will pop. If you cook it for less than the recommended time...you will get popcorn...but not all that you should be getting (plus you'll get a lot of kernels). Yes...you'll be busy...and putting up the decorations can be trouble. Wrapping gifts is a hassle. Cantatas are often crowded, and parking is a nightmare. WalMart can be unthinkable in December. But the hassles are worth it when we are in the moment and are necessary to create what we love to experience as the magic of the season.
On the other hand, If you leave it in there longer than the recommended time, you will set off your smoke detector! You can't do everything or you will completely burn out. You need to maintain balance during the season so you can appreciate the wonderful little surprises that Christmas often brings.
And I hope that it is a wonderful time for you this year with many unexpected surprises and joys. May they pop out at you from everywhere!