Well, I am finally getting Monday’s Question up even though Monday is almost over. It has been a very busy week and to be honest, a sad week and a stressful week. But here is the question for the week and it’s really a two-part question.
Do you have any suggestions/ideas on how to keep the holiday stress down this month? If so, I would LOVE to hear them! Also, what gets you in the Christmas spirit?
I am going to be honest and just come right out and say this. I HATE this time of year. The older I get, I despise and dread it more and more. I hate to sound like such a Scrooge, but it’s true. Do any of you feel like that? Please don’t get me wrong… I love celebrating the birth of our Savior. I guess in a nutshell, I feel that the main meaning of Christmas got lost a long time ago and it’s never quite been found? (You know the saying….Jesus is the reason for the season). It’s the hustle and the bustle that I despise, and the shopping, and the way people get grumpy and rude in stores this time of year, and the overspending of money (the way overspending), the rushing around, the trying to get everything done,- the shopping, the presents wrapped, the tree up and decorated, Christmas cards done, the baking, etc.
Tomorrow will be the 4th year anniversary of my mother’s death. It is just a sad time. I miss her and think of her more this time of year. I miss my father too. The year my mother died, I refused to let the “stress of the season” affect me and make me feel any worse than I already felt. I didn’t put up a tree that year, didn’t do Christmas cards (and haven’t done them since), didn’t bake, didn’t even finish my shopping. And guess what? THE WORLD DIDN’T COME TO AN END! It seems every year, I get really stressed with trying to get gifts wrapped, so I’m doing mostly gift bags this year. A small and silly thing I admit, but hopefully one that will be helpful. As usual, I plan to go to our Children’s Christmas pageant on Christmas Eve to celebrate the Nativity, and church again late that evening for Christmas Carols and Eucharist to again celebrate the Nativity. I love both of those services and that’s when it really starts feeling like Christmas to me. It’s when Christmas starts to finally feel holy to me.
I wish that it wasn’t like this year after year for me, but unfortunately, it is. I think that’s why every year it is hard for me to take the fall decorations down and even get in the mood to put up Christmas decorations. I wanted to vomit when I started seeing the Christmas decorations coming out this year in one store and we had barely just celebrated the Fourth of July! This year, I just want to celebrate the REAL reason for Christmas. I don’t want to spend money I don’t have. I want desperately to feel more of that holiness. A year or two ago, I suggested to family members that we not even spend any money on each other- that we just maybe use the money we would spend on each other (buying those things we really don’t even need anyway), and spend it instead on a needy family. Let’s just say I got some strange looks and it didn’t happen.
This year, I just really want to listen to Christmas music, be with my family, and feel love and holiness. I want to enjoy addressing Christmas cards again instead of feeling like it’s something I HAVE to do and am under a deadline to get done. I want to fall in love with the holiness of this Christmas season again. Yeah, that’s it. How about you?