I stumbled across an advent calendar for submissives recently. Knowing this time of year can be hectic and full, I impulsively downloaded it, the small price one that seemed worth the reminder it will hopefully give me.
It seems that this time of year is one which encourages joy and love as well as the opposing feelings, pain and misery, often depending on the outlook of the person in question. We as a unit have struggled to maintain our normal level of D/s interaction and even our preferred play interludes for a variety of reasons over past Decembers together.
Our first year was busy with wedding preparations, such as the search for a venue and a cake maker while trying to keep those things secret. As Christmas approached we also had the added kink-blocker of family staying with us and demanding attention. Little pieces of our routine peeled away from the core as I had to be more proactive.
The following year saw family in town for a full month, leaving our weekends completely full and our weekdays still jammed with normal work demands. Throw in a fun holiday virus, and last year was more about soup and driving than submission and intimacy.
I hope to inspire some calm for this year. We have no family coming in, and though not having them will be a disappointment, it certainly leaves us more free to maintain our current levels of kink connection. Some of the family we normally have will be gone, visiting new family. Our Christmas will be a quiet one, just the two of us. Our anniversary will be a day for celebrating what we have overcome and the unknown ahead of us.
I haven’t spent much of this year being deliberate. I am often overwhelmed by moments of love and happiness even still. It is easy to wander into the path of least resistance, with learning and excellence the only real goals. It is my goal to focus on areas in which I struggled throughout the year during this holiday season, not as a resolution, but as a desire to continually grow, both in my submission and as a person in general.
In addition to taking the time to calmly evaluate how well I handled difficulty this past year, it is also my goal to identify areas in which I was successful at improving as well as areas which continue to challenge me.
In reflecting on my kink journey over the past year, or even the past few years, I feel more in touch with my local community. I’m really pleased about that. I’ve met some amazing people and built some great bonds. I’ve played with people I may or may not have opportunities to play with again, and I’ve learned and found personal growth from each of them. I’ve continued to grow in my surprising craft, working towards new skills while maintaining quality. I’ve built surprising friendships with people I have long admired. I’ve tried things with Daddy I wouldn’t have considered several years ago, and continue to learn and grow as my bravery does. I think taking the time to truly appreciate what we have is important for not allowing the people in our lives to feel taken for granted.
There are some less intellectual ways to help enhance the calm of the holidays, as well.
Set ground rules and stick to them. If you have time set aside for communication or intimacy or whatever, when that time comes, put away the other things and deliberately focus on partners. It can be easy to allow the busyness to eat that time, and negatively impact relationships. Take time to kneel or serve or any of the important submissive aspects you value.
Respect introversion and extroversion. Allow partners the space to recharge their batteries without judgment. That may mean having a partner slip away for a breather during major events, or that you accompany an extrovert to a holiday party without complaint as long as your batteries are also allowed to recharge.
Remember that preparation goes further than panic. If you’re hosting big holiday meals or parties, roast that turkey overnight to free up oven space. Prep wet ingredients and refridgerate them so all you have to do is bake things the day of. Make your mashed potatoes the day before and start them in the crockpot with a little milk fat in the morning to come to temperature. Utilize additional cooking methods, such as grilling and smoking to increase overall productivity.
As we walk towards this holiday and my partner and I towards our anniversary, eyes open and hands interlocked, these wonderful steps behind us, my goal is to stay focused on us and on our friends, family, and community through each day. I truly hope that taking some time to breathe calmly and reflect will help others as well.