Only 21 days until Christmas! It is hard to believe. This time of year is my very favorite, yet it seems to fly by so quickly each year that I barely am able to appreciate and take in the Christmas spirit. I am beginning to realize that the only way to take control of ENJOYING the holidays is to make a conscious decision to not allow oneself to get sucked into the hustle and bustle and chaos going on throughout the holiday month: First there is the anxiety of trying to find everyone the perfect gift, then there is the stress of researching online to find those gifts for the lowest price, not to mention the frustration of finding a parking stall at the mall only to stand in endless lines amongst all of the other frustrated shoppers. It sounds sad to say that it takes a conscious effort to slow yourself down at Christmas, but the fact is that it does. And so this year I am determined to try and handle the holiday season differently. And so I have come up with a plan:
I plan to finish my shopping up quickly and without stressing over finding the perfect gift. Instead I am going to put less stress on what the gift is and more emphasis and making sure the person I give the gift to is able to feel how much I care.
I plan to spend some time sitting by our Christmas tree, sipping hot cocoa, and quietly contemplating the many blessings in my life so I don’t ever take any of those blessings for granted. I think this time of year is a fantastic time to sit and write down each of the blessings we have in our lives as a keepsake to look back on in future years.
I plan to start early thinking of service projects my family can do for others for Christmas so our hearts and minds are more focused on the true meaning of Christmas from the start of the month.
And for icing on the holiday spirit cake I plan to listen to plenty of Christmas carols on the radio and watch countless Hallmark channel cheesy Christmas movies with my daughter – that always helps to keep me in that Christmas spirit :). (By the way my very favorite movie is “Mr. Krueger’s Christmas” starring Jimmy Stewart and if you haven’t seen it you absolutely need to! It is the best movie ever to get you in the right Christmas spirit).
Yes, this month I intend to truly ENJOY and CHERISH the Christmas season – and I realize that it is my attitude and my focus that will make that happen.
It is especially important for me to remember that I control my attitude and focus – especially when this will be my very first Christmas away from my son Dalton. Dalton is on his mission in Mississippi and so he won’t be home with us this year. We do get to have either a phone call or hopefully a video skype call with him on Christmas day and I am so looking forward to that. But truth be told, I am missing him like crazy his month and it is a daily struggle to not have him around, especially with all the Christmas festivities and traditions going on. It is amazing how powerful the desire is to be with family during the holidays and it makes my heart go out to all of those people who don’t get to be around their family or loved ones during the holiday. And so to deal with the hole in my heart I will focus my attention on doing service for others, the same way Dalton is out in Mississippi doing service for others. I have found that doing service for others is about the very best cure there is for a sad heart. And there is no better time than Christmas to go the extra mile in doing service for others.
I wish all of you an amazing holiday month. I hope all of us are able to set aside the typical stresses and anxieties that so often plague us this time of year and focus on the things that really matter.
Let’s all ENJOY this holiday season!