Crane's Corner

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Time to step back and take stock

By Ingrid Crane

To talk about simplicity at this time of year is probably the most absurd notion. However, if we want to arrive at the day after Thanksgiving without feeling overextended and overstuffed, this is the very time to pause and take stock of exactly what it is we are trying to achieve.


With each approaching day, the pressure builds as we get caught up in the luncheons, parties, visiting and shopping. Surely there is something on our “to do” list that we can eliminate, maybe even some calories along the way.

When the new year arrives, we tell ourselves that “this year, we will honor ourselves and not get carried away in the frenzy of the season,” only to find ourselves repeating the same old habits. Being environmentally conscious, we have often talked about the waste created during the holiday season: the very pretty boxes and wrapping paper which contribute to the extra 27 million tons of garbage in America alone. The planet is crying out to us to be eco-centric rather than ego-centric. Simplification is the way. It provides space, in our lives, our homes and in our minds. Space allows for inspiration, and by example, we can inspire our loved ones to release the need for the latest gadget or toy and perhaps share with those less fortunate.

Lightening up on all fronts is very liberating.

The most important thing is to have fun. We take ourselves so seriously. We received a wonderful greeting which stated: “There are those who give their friends real nice expensive gifts, and those of us who value the true meaning of friendship far too much to resort to such crass materialism.”

Last Christmas, another friend wrote: “Some people say that giving gift cards is cold and impersonal. Those people get fruitcake.” She happened to give us our favorite gift: a gift card to our local food market. I may even have bought some fruitcake.

Keep it simple, enjoy the season and “may grace and peace be yours in abundance (2 Peter).”

Ingrid Crane practices yoga, Reiki and Thai massage. She teaches free classes in Sholom Park and at the Freedom Library.