Friday, December 28, 2012

Be flexible. Improvise.

Most of us are reminded at holiday time of the gap that exists between expectation and reality. Many of us live at quite some distance from family members. We don't all get to be together with the people we love most. Perhaps we don't get to keep all the traditional parts of Christmas that we had so wanted to stay the same. We have to share. We have to be flexible about when we gather, where we gather, and even if we gather.

I learned the value of flexibility again this year. My youngest son, daughter-in-law and two youngest grandchildren live in the Phoenix area. They were unable to spend Christmas back in the Chicago area where I live. So we put our creative minds—and our technology—to work.

After my box of gifts arrived at their house, we set up a time to Skype. That way I got to watch them open their gifts. It wasn't quite like being together in the same room. But it was quite magical all the same. I loved seeing their faces when they opened each gift. For example, I really enjoyed seeing my 6-year-old granddaughter open up her artist's sketch pad and colors with a whoop of joy and a huge smile on her face. It was especially fun when she ripped off the cellophane and began drawing and coloring immediately. Something told me that gift was a hit!

Would we have loved to be in the same house and the same room sharing gifts? Of course. But it wasn't going to happen this year. Did we enjoy Skyping? You better believe we did. So being flexible and open to new ways of doing things worked. Change isn't all bad.

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