The holiday season is meant to be a fun, cheery, joyful, introspective and celebratory time of year. Yet somehow, in our culture of today, we've managed to make into the most stressful, jam-packed, anxiety-ridden and frustrating time of year.
We are constantly on the go, constantly eating awful (yet so tasty) food, constantly immersed in consumerism. We are celebratory at the last moment and introspection has all but flown out the window. Christmas morning is about so much more than the debt wracked from buying gifts or getting "the next best thing" wrapped under the tree - yet we forget that.
But it's not too late, friends.
It's not too late to make this year different. To stop. To listen. To think. To reflect. To cherish. We can pause amidst the whirlwind to take in a beautiful moment, stop despite the chaos to cherish a memory. To put family and friends first, to prioritize correctly.
And, perhaps, find that by focusing on better things, our hearts are lighter, our thoughts are happier and our outlooks are brighter.
This past weekend we put up our tree. And I'll be the first to admit: It stresses me out. Unwrapping all the carefully wrapped (and breakable) ornaments. Letting the girls get excited without going over the edge. It should be fun, yet I found myself annoyed that all the ornaments were (lovingly) placed on one weighed-down branch by Bug or laid out on the bookshelf by Chica. I realized that what should be a memory-making activity had become nothing more than a Holiday Chore to cross off the list.
So I decided to stop amidst the whirlwind and reflect.
I took some time to browse through all the ornaments once they were up on the tree. I let myself remember their significance and the memories behind them.
|The ornament I received my Junior year of |
high school from the captain of our Colorguard.
|A memento from our December honeymoon to |
Winter Park, Colorado 7 years ago.
|A replica of First Presbyterian Church of West Chester,|
where we got married, where my in-laws got married,
where my grandparents-in-law were committed members
and where my husband grew up going to church (and preschool!)
|The bridal cake ornament given to us by Hubby's parents|
the year we became engaged (2005)
|The ornament I bought for our first Christmas tree.|
I loved that it was kind of naughty.
|The Christmas ornament I gave to Hubby|
for our first Christmas, a mere 10 days after our wedding day!
|The handmade wooden snowman that my friend's brother made for me years ago.|
|This was a December Precious Moments figurine |
that my mom bought for me when I was little.
|Chica's first Christmas <3 td="">3>|
Let me tell you, this small breath of time in my day completely changed my perspective!
Can I encourage you to Stop. Listen. Reflect. Cherish. Enjoy. this holiday season?
I'd love to hear from you:
What are some ideas of small ways to stop and take in the holidays?