UnMerry Christmas

” I don’t want to get a tree since we aren’t going to be here for Christmas!” I cross my arms in a defiant stance.

My husband and daughter look at each other and then look at me and smirk. They know I’m fighting a losing battle. It’s true we won’t be here for Christmas. We are traveling to Southern California to visit my older daughter, husband and grandson for the holidays. However, there are all the other days leading up to Christmas where we will be home and can enjoy a tree.

My family loves Christmas. It has always been their favorite time of year . It takes me a bit longer to warm up to the idea. Growing up, it was just the worst time of year. Stress was at it’s highest, and tempers flared up to extremes that were met with violence that permeated my brain in wrong ways. So now, I fight that tendency to crawl away until this season is over.

Every mom feels this stress in general. It’s up to us to put out all the decorations, bake the cookies, wrap the presents, attend all the holiday parties, plan the meals, and make sure everyone is happy and gets what they want. It’s enough to make us turn into the Grinch in no time.

I am learning however, that there really is more to Christmas than all that the world has to offer.

“You will soon discover that your list of blessings is longer than your list of worries. Allow your frustrations to be turned into prayers–and then leave them with Me. It pleases Me when you take great delight in remembering My Son’s reason for coming to this earth. Rejoice!” By Carol Kent’s book “He Holds My Hand.

When I remember what the season is really about, I don’t have to stress about every little thing. I do however want to remember about the people that need our love during this season.

Let’s take the focus off our personal stuff and spread joy to others.

Is there a neighbor that is alone? Invite them over for a meal or coffee during this time.

Do you have time to help out the homeless this year? Anything you can give will show you care about them and didn’t forget they are still in need of your love.

Does someone you know just lose a loved one? Don’t let them be alone. Tell them your door is open and go pick them up if neccessary to have them spend Christmas with you and your family.

Watching the joy in someone’s else’s face creates room in your heart to feel a love you otherwise might miss.

Be good to yourself too. Take a tea break and just sit still during the day. Make time to breath and relax. I sit by my fireplace with my dog by my side and enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning. All the other stuff to do will still be there. Take care of you.

I did go with my family to get that Christmas tree. It is beautiful! And my sweet daughter offered to decorate it herself so I could relax. She is learning to spread joy to me. And it feels good.

Rejoice!

Anna Vatuone