For some reason this year, I can’t wait for the holiday season to arrive. It’s by far my favorite time of the year. I love to shop for Christmas. I love to bake cookies. I love Thanksgiving and Advent and the anticipation of waiting for Christmas. I adore Christmas Carols and especially LOVE Advent music that emphasizes preparing for our Lord. I love to drive around the neighborhood and look at light displays. I love to just sit in church while the kids are practicing for choir and listen to their angelic (yet loud and off key) voices sing praises and sit in peace. I love the Holiday season and look forward to it every year.
Yet, every year I seem to blow it. I forget to pull out the Advent wreath. I forget about the advent calendars. I end up shopping at the last minute and find gifts that “will do” rather than something special that has meaning. I don’t get any baking done, the house isn’t all sparkly clean, and I’m exhausted. I’m crabby and although I do put a ton of emphasis on Christ, it’s all hurried and exasperated. It’s not the calm and peaceful environment that I want for my children. Instead it’s so fast-paced that it whips by so quickly without us enjoying the little moments.
I won’t do that this year.
2004 was our first Christmas here in our little town and I was recuperating from my first bout of optic neuritis. I did no Christmas shopping at all – just went into the school scrip office and bought everyone on the list gift cards. I found little boxes from the dollar store and wrapped them up.
2005 I was doing okay with the shopping. It was a semi-normal Christmas – it must have been because I remember ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about it. I was probably all wrapped up with my CM stuff and got to my family stuff at the last minute. I’m sure if I looked in the family album, I’ll remember what happened. (Oh, no I WON’T because I haven’t scrapbooked that yet).
2006 we went to Disney World the last week of November and that put me way behind on Christmas shopping. I did it though and we had a lovely Christmas last year – even with my second bout of optic neuritis and the horrible shopping experience at ToysRUs. I never pulled out the Advent wreath or calendar and I remember at the end of the season being disappointed that we didn’t do any of our regular Christmas traditions last year.
So, 2007 is here and I’m not messing it up. We’ll do our annual tree shopping (together, not just one of us exhaustingly picking one up so we have one in the house). I’ll take my time shopping for our family and won’t be power shopping all in one day, I’ll put some detail in the gift wrapping this year, and we’ll pull out the Advent Calendars and wreath to help us focus on the real Reason for the season.
We’ll do our annual “let’s skip school and go to Frankenmuth to see Santa” tradition. We didn’t do it last year because of our WDW trip and I missed it. I love to take the kids to Bronners to buy another figure for our Nativity and an ornament for each of them. I love to do it on St. Nicholas’ Day and we’ll be doing it again this year.
We’ll go shopping for our tree as a family. I’ll make sure the kids’ go shopping for their siblings and their dad. We’ll adopt a family from the giving tree. I’ll bake those cookies and will make special gifts for friends. We’ll concentrate on our Lord and our family this year. We must. No complaining. No fighting. No stress. Just concentrate on our Lord and our family. That’s it.
Being sick this year (sicker than I’ve ever been) has really woken me up. I’m not going to worry about my Creative Memories business anymore. I’m not letting that take me away from my precious family anymore. This Christmas season I’ll be concentrating on my family’s gifts, not making sure my customers get the perfect gift. It will be a wonderful Christmas this year. It will be wonderful.
Hold me to that, okay?