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Three kids went home sick from my daughter’s class yesterday. One threw up at school. I’m obsessively washing my hands, reminding the kids to wash theirs, and trying to remember not to eat scraps off their plate.

Still, this morning, my stomach felt off. I don’t know if I’m on the verge of something or if I’m just fearful of getting a stomach bug.

I’ve been thinking about fear and the trepidation with which I approach December every year, and wondering if some of that is just habit.

December pulls me hard between dark and light, joy and sorrow, birth and death. All year I hold these things together, but in December, the tension is strong.

Next week I will celebrate my older daughter’s birthday. A few days later, her little sister will blow out her own candles.

And on the 17th, we mark the day Henry died.Simple traditions

I still feel trepidation when this month rolls around. My body tenses as we move into December, wrapping tighter as we move closer to that day.I feel the pressure of birthdays and holidays on either side of Henry’s day. I feel that weight sinking in the center between them.

I have slowly reclaimed this month. I moved from having no tree to putting up a mini tree to telling my girls the stories of the ornaments as we hang them together on a big tree. I’ve slowly reintroduced traditions like baking cookies and making ornaments. I’ve added new traditions like our Christmas story advent calendar.

Along the way, I’ve found light again and joy. My girls have helped a lot with that, their enthusiasm and excitement lighting my way. I want to follow their light, bask in it’s glow.

I want to let go of the trepidation this month brings.The weight, the darkness, the sorrow may come—surely will—but I don’t want to give it extra time.

The past few Decembers have been about building—adding in traditions and celebrations. This year, I want to start to let go of  anxiety and anticipation, so even more light can come in.


 What can you let go of this December? What can you make room for?

Maybe you’ll let go of a tradition you never liked or an event you grumble about every year to make room for a new tradition that brings you peace or joy.

Maybe you’ll let go of getting “perfect” gift and enjoy spending time with loved ones instead.

Maybe you’ll cull your Christmas card list and write a note to a few friends.

Maybe you’ll throw out the to do list and sit by the fire and sip your eggnog.

Not sure? Try journaling about what you love most about the holidays.

Whatever you do, I hope you find more joy and peace and light in this season.

Share in the comments what you want to make room for this month and one thing you can let go of to get there.