Let's see... December 22nd... then the 23rd, then Christmas Eve! And then, Christmas Day!!!
Are you looking forward to Christmas? or are you looking forward to Christmas being over?
Christmas is such a wonderful time of year - probably my favorite time. It's the time when I pause and think about the the birth of Jesus and all that He means to me. There are also many family traditions that we will enjoy and maybe some other celebrations around town. I have even known several people who were not Christians and yet they enjoyed and participated in the fun and traditions that surround Christmas.
There is one thing that I refuse to participate in, though - Christmas Stress. Nope, no Spirit of Christmas Stress is going to visit me! And, here's how I make that unwelcome visitor vamoose ~
- I keep a list and I check it twice - well, maybe more than twice. A list helps me to prioritize the days activities and to be more productive. Each day I go through my list and I update it.
- The only items I put on my list are the ones that need to be done. I don't want a list so long that I can't accomplish everything. Also, I don't want to spend time doing things that I may want to do when I should be doing what I need to do.
- I keep gift giving simple. I am fortunate to be part of a family that agrees that gifts are tokens of our love. Many of our gifts are handmade treasures or simple purchases with special meaning behind them. In some cases, items are even re-gifted, including the gifting of family 'heirlooms' complete with the history behind them. Gifts do not have to be expensive to express love!
- I keep decorating simple. I will set up the Nativity that my mother painted when the church choir members painted them and sold them to raise money for choir robes. I will set up my tree with antique ornaments from Grandmother, handmade ones from family and friends, and special creations by my darling granddaughters. I have the wreath that my parents used hanging in my window. That's all I do any more. Not a lot of lights and glitter, but a lot of treasures and memories.
- I keep cooking simple. Keep stress at bay by preparing simple things that you have made before. Running out of time? Pick up something from the store that is all ready to serve.
- I have learned to be flexible. In that flexibility, I have discovered some wonderful new Christmas traditions were created. Not being flexible will lead to disappointment and stress, so relax and enjoy some surprises!
- I listen to Christmas music and I watch fun movies. Currently playing while I write this ~ "A Christmas Carol" with Reginald Owen ~ a great 1938 movie! I avoid Scrooge, wherever he may lurk. I won't listen to snarky DJs on the radio, read sad stories, or hang around with people who enjoy being grumpy. Bye-bye, Scrooge.
- I take time to slow down. When I make that list, I plan time to slow down and enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas. There is nothing quite like just sitting and enjoying a cup of hot chocolate while you admire your Christmas tree.