Is anyone else feeling like the Holidays just crept up on us??
Seriously, it came so fast this year I can’t believe it’s already Christmas! Last year, I was totally in the spirit. I was on top of it all and then some. I decorated the house, we cooked a huge feast for Christmas Eve that was planned out several days in advance, I got our Christmas cards out, I handmade several gifts for family, friends, and loved ones.
This Christmas… Not so much. Thank goodness for the advent of the Internet because without it, nobody in our family would be receiving gifts. I spent the week before last finalizing my Christmas shopping online and so far, everything looks like it is going to make it in time. I did get our Christmas cards out on time. I figured since many people weren’t able to make it to our wedding and aren’t online to see the photos, I should probably send out a Christmas card with a photo or two from our wedding. And I managed to make jams to giveaway as Christmas gifts this year.
We will be celebrating Christmas Day at our house with some of my husband’s family…. With zero decorations and no Christmas tree. It feels so grinch-like of me, but honestly I didn’t have the energy to put the tree up and decorate it myself. It didn’t help that as I cruised Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter I saw photo after photo of perfectly decorated houses and Christmas trees. And I fell into the trap. That trap of “perfection”. That because my house isn’t decorated and my husband and I don’t have Christmas tree up in our house, we are less of people or heaven forbid, I am less of a wife because I didn’t take the time to do it.
It sounds so silly when you say it out loud. But I know you all know what I am talking about. That little voice inside our heads that tells us we aren’t good enough. In the middle of my self loathing, it was my husband who reminded me… the one who brought perspective to it all. We get so caught up in the mayhem of the Holidays, we forget what it is really about. It’s not about perfection. And honestly, perfection is so over-rated.
It’s not about the lights on your house, it’s not about perfectly decorated trees, it’s not about a gourmet feast, and it’s most certainly not about stressing yourself out to get gifts for people who more than often don’t necessarily NEED them. It’s not about any of that.
Christmas, first and foremost, is a reminder of the birth of our Saviour. It is a time to reflect on the amazing ways he works and lives through us. It’s time to give Thanks for his birth and coming. To give thanks to a Lord who loves us even though we aren’t perfect.
Christmas is about the people. Spending time and fellowship with the people you love. Making memories as families or husband and wife. It’s about the talking, laughing, and loving. Reaching out to those who you won’t get to spend the Holidays with. Catching up with old friends. Or maybe even mending torn relationships. Life is short. Let the people in your life know how much they mean to you this Holiday season and beyond.
Christmas is about spreading cheer. If you go to the mall a few days before Christmas you’d think otherwise. I was delighted the other day when we stopped at Scheels and our cashier was so jolly and talkative. He made it a point to wish every single person who went through his line a Merry Christmas even though his line was 20+ people long. He didn’t let the stress overwhelm him. You can’t imagine the power your actions and words speak, especially if you work in retail. I’ve been there, it’s hard. But it does nobody good when you let the stress get to you. Be kind, stay positive, and stay calm.
Christmas is a time of joy. Many people get bogged down (much as I did) in trying to keep up with Christmas. It’s amazing how easily sometimes we forget our blessings or are quick to get cynical about the blessings of others. I very much enjoy taking a look at the year as a whole. I enjoy the year end newsletters I get in the mail from some families. I know many people see them as “brag-fests” but I celebrate the blessings of those families whom I love. I did a year end review last week and it is amazing how much you forget in the course of a year. You don’t have to make it public or send it out in the mail. One reader of mine said she will be filling it out and putting it in a memory box. Even if bad things in your life happen, there is always joy to be found. Celebrate the joy.
Christmas is a time of giving. And not necessarily about going out of your way to buy gifts for every single person in the family. It’s about giving to those who cannot or simply doing something kind for somebody else in your life. It always warms my heart when I see when families take their Christmas money and give it to a worthy cause. If you’ve been blessed this year in any way, pay it forward. Give to whatever your heart desires. It doesn’t have to be grandiose, it can be simple. Even simple actions make lasting impressions.
It is my hope that whatever Christmas means to you, that you celebrate Christmas in all it’s un-perfect glory. Maybe it will be that you end up eating chili out of a can for Christmas while everyone else shares their grandiose feasts or maybe you will be celebrating Christmas like us, without any Christmas decoration to be found. Celebrate the season of giving, the season of joy, and the season of love.
I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the bottom of my heart.
What does Christmas mean to you? Do you have any special things you do to celebrate the Holiday?