Is This Your Last Christmas To Do That?

The last Christmas Where will your path take you snowshoe trail at Solitude near Salt Lake City Utah (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

Where will your path take you, and when will you get started? Snowshoe trail at Solitude near Salt Lake City Utah (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

What is that Christmas or holiday thing that you keep meaning to do, but never quite get around to it?

Would you act differently if this year was your last chance?

One of the advantages of my military family childhood was moving every two or three years. My parents liked to “do all the local things” wherever we lived. Since we knew we only had awhile in each location, we didn’t waste any time getting ourselves out and exploring the eateries, festivals, museums, parks, music, and whatever else made a place unique and special.

Often, when we’d talk to our neighbors about where we were going and what we were doing, if they were longtime locals they’d say something like, “I’ve lived here 17 years and never been there.” Now that I’ve found myself living in one place for over a decade, I am beginning to understand why people have “never been there” even when it’s right up the road.

There is no urgency.

Whatever it is has always been there, so why hurry to see it or experience it?

It will be there next year. And so will they.

Maybe that doesn’t bother some people, but I just can’t float through life and miss the chance to do and see things that create wonderful memories, particularly around the holidays.

Another consideration spurring me on is the calendar. The window of time is literally closing. I’m getting older. My parents are aging. There are still adventures to have with my young adult children.

My husband and I made an extra effort this year to get out and experience more local Austin traditions, landmarks, and festivities. We are tired of hearing that low mental hum of regret that we’re sliding into the “never been there” crowd. This fall and winter season we made it downtown for the last night of the Creek Show art installations near Waller Creek, attended a medieval music Christmas concert with Texas Early Music Project, and enjoyed the December Cookies for Caring fundraiser at the historic Driskill Hotel.

More and more each December, I pry myself out of my house and my routines by asking myself how I’d feel if this was the last Christmas to do “X” and I blew it?

Change is constant. People move away, become ill, pass on, or circumstances change. Windows of opportunity close. Don’t be left thinking, “I wish….”

Buy the tickets. Put the event on the calendar. Make the arrangements.

It might be the last Christmas you’ll have to do it.

Or it might be the first of many wonderful holiday memories.

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