...because we all have our motley moments!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Greatest Gift

I love Christmas. I really do. But sometimes I feel like I'm tying all of my holiday cheer into a beautiful red and green package, handing it to my family, and then realize there's none left for me. I start out with such good intentions of "keeping Christ in Christmas" at the beginning of Advent, but by the end of the season, after telling the Christmas story at least twenty times, after baking, making, shopping, wrapping, singing, decorating, and deflating...I feel like I've lost the Christmas spirit I began the season with.

It's as if my very efforts at making the season merry and bright are what sabotage the whole thing. How does that happen?

By January, I'm usually determined to become a recluse. I've been overstimulated throughout December with dinners, parties, service "opportunities," shopping malls, holiday events, and all the trappings of the season, originally conceived to get us in the "Christmas Spirit" in the first place.

This year, I'm pulling the brakes on this express train, lest it go barreling through all of my good intentions of happy holiday cheer. I really want to enjoy Christmas, rather than pass out from exhaustion on the big day, thankful that it's finally over (sound familiar?). This blessed season has so much to offer, but I'm learning to let go of some of the wonderful opportunities that present themselves in order to truly enjoy and appreciate a select few.

No more Christmas sabotage for me. Keeping focused on the Greatest Gift will be the greatest gift I can offer my family at Christmas.

How do you stay focused on the true "reason for the season?"


Lindsay said...

I found over the years to keep things as simple as possible. I don't do a whole lot at this time of year. We put up simple decorations, and I bake a few simple things (always keeping brownie mix, and rice crispy treat ingredients in my cabinet for quick "need to take someplace" treats). Then I just sit back and enjoy. I try to get 95% of my shopping done before December even hits, and I pay cash for that so I don't stress over money. I go to a few holidays parties, and activies but not if it's going to stress me out, it's not worth it.

The kids bake with me when I am into it but if not I just bake at night when they are in bed, and then I refuse to let myself be guilt over it. I wrap gifts all at once. And we read 1 short advent story, and 1 Christmas book before bed. The rest of our hoilday spirit comes from listening to Christmas music in the car and talking about the birth of Jesus while cooking dinner (or giving baths....). Basically I keep everything I do simple, and get as much done early as possible.

I am rarely stress at this time of year.

Donna said...

That is so nice to read! I feel less stressed vicariously through this comment!

Thanks, Lindsay!