Time to celebrate and relax

Do you ever get that feeling this time of year that the stress, and money, and stress, and lists, and stress are take all the joy from your holiday season?

Sometimes trying to remember everything that you “have” to do can overshadow what you should do. And that, for me, can just suck the joy right out of the whole jolly, merry celebration. Trying to remember everyone you should buy for, send a card to, baking, shopping, wrapping……sigh. It can get to be too much. The crowds and the traffic can make even the most centered calm person start wishing harm on those around them. Oh wait. Is that just me?

Every year I vow to start earlier, wrap as I go, make lists, set money aside, all the good things I should try to do. Yea, it never seems to work out that way.

This year I was able to get shopping finished, gifts wrapped, and only go slightly over budget, with a few days to spare. Wooo hoooo!!! So now, I can relax. Right? Yes. And I can also refocus.

I can focus on what this season is all about. Family, friends, reconnecting with myself and those I care about. It’s about Christ and a baby being born and celebrating the blessings that brings. It’s about being thankful for everything I have been blessed with, even if sometimes my life hasn’t felt blessed. It’s about being able to give back and help others who have it worse than I do, because someone always has it better and it’s easy to fall into that mindset, but how often do you realize that others could be looking at you and thinking of how blessed you are? Someone might have it better than you, but someone definitely has it worse than you. Feel thankful for what you do have.

I’m thankful every day. I’m thankful for my parents, my brother and his family, my husband, my children. I’m thankful for having a roof over my head and food in my fridge. A car to drive and money to pay for the things I need and even some things I want. I’m thankful for my church family and the people we’ve met there who have touched my life. I’m thankful Michael found God out of his tragedy, which led us to our church. In the midst of deep sorrow, there really can be a silver lining.

So now that all of my things are done that I felt needed to be done, I love being able to do what I want to do. I’m baking, watching the rain fall and actually wishing it was snow for Christmas, and most important, I’m playing the Carpenters Christmas album while putting gifts in the stocking hanging by the fireplace. And feeling very very blessed.

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