Submitted by Linda:
Michelle and I joke about "spreading joy and sunshine wherever we go", but seriously, I hope my little philosophical jaunt will be an encouragement to all of you.
This summer I decided to start shopping for this beautiful Spode Christmas Tree pattern for Christmas dishes (what I had previously were really dated, and were well used). Anyway, I happily bought plates in different sizes on ebay. So fast forward to last week, when Tuesday Morning had a sale on Spode Christmas Tree serving pieces. I scored this wonderful teapot, cream and sugar set. I do drink and serve a lot of tea, so I will really enjoy using it during the holidays.
The tea set reminded me of a great nugget of wisdom that I read quite a few years back in Alexandra Stoddard's book Tea Celebrations. She writes that the point of tea parties and tea times is really time well-spent with others (especially Front Row friends). But what encouraged me the most from the book was this idea: she talks about ironing a tablecloth for an upcoming celebration, and approaching the task not as a chore, but in anticipation of the joy and appreciation your friends or loved ones will feel when they experience your table set on this beautiful, well-ironed cloth. Her point was that a change in our attitude can change our whole perspective on the many 'must-dos' (chores) that we women are faced with all the time. So I tried to adopt this approach when making lunches for my boys (who were little at the time). I thought about how much they would enjoy their lunch, especially with the crusts cut off the sandwich, etc. And guess what? I enjoyed making those lunches a lot more.
We all get overextended during the holidays, so maybe it will help us find joy in those many extra tasks if we can see that our effort does make a difference for others. And it definitely makes a difference for us, as well.