Monday, December 3, 2007

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Confession time: I have, in my recent years, viewed Christmas as a time of the year I can't wait to be over. Previously, around this time, my thoughts would be something like "This time next month it'll be over." I viewed Christmas as a time to do what I don't like to do--shopping. Then there's all the extra things to do---decorate, wrap, cook, figure out what to shop for- and well, the list could go on and on.

But this year I'm not thinking that way. I am determined not to be a scrooge in my heart. And so far it is working.

I'm looking forward to this time of the year. It's only as stressful as you make it. Careful planning will help ease all the "extras" that arise at this time of the year. The decorations are so much fun---the lights sparkling with all their reds and greens of Christmas. We are doing a children's program at church which I'm helping with and the kids are so cute and it is a lot of fun. I'm excited at picking out gifts for the family.

Also, one of the reasons I'm so excited this year is because I"m not focusing on all the "stuff". I'm focusing on the reason we are celebrating this wonderful time of the year. The birth of our Saviour. Jesus. The reason for our existence. The reason we breathe in each day.

So, any advice out there for this newly excited Christmas girl? Any hints on simplifying things? What makes you the most excited about this Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

5 comments:

  1. Belinda,
    Several years ago my husband and I chose to de-christmas our lives. We don't go in for the stress and flurry, and the focus on gifts just plain got on our nerves. You wouldn't believe how many strange looks we get the month of December!

    But, we have made our focus family. Our gift to our family is spending time together...no pressure to gift buy. We have to travel, so the expense of the trip is our "gift", and perhaps a small family photo or a box of baked goodies. I have two boys whose list grows ever shorter as they get older (they are 12 and 14 now) because we've taught them to focus on family, and they have.

    I'm probably one of the least stressed people I know the month of December. Tradition can be beautiful, but when it becomes a tiresome burden, it's time to re-evaluate. I did, and am ever so glad! Christ's gift of salvation is gift enough for me all year long!!

    Kim

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  2. Kim,
    Thanks for sharing. I understand what you are saying, and it makes a whole lot of sense.

    Your comment about re-evaluating is right on.
    I'm looking forward to being stress-free, too!
    Just focusing on what's important.

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  3. Belinda,
    You have already begun your re-evaluating process by the tone of your blog post...looking at Christ first. Truly, some of my most precious memories are simple times spent together as a family, enjoying a good meal, playing a card or board game...just remembering fun things together. Just being together. What a precious gift we all take for granted.

    Just last night I had to visit the funeral home - a man we attended church with, not yet 60 years old, diagnosed with cancer at Labor Day and now he's gone. No more Christmases with his children and grand children. Time is our greatest gift...we need to always be mindful of that and make in meaningful!!

    It's going to be a great month...filled with blessings!!

    Enjoy!
    Kim

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  4. I love Christmas Eve and Day. But, this year is like living it for the first time. Our exchange son has never experienced Christmas before. I have and am having the pleasure of explaining all the different customs and reasons for the season.
    We are all really excited about putting up the tree on Sunday. He's never had one. And doing cookies...that's a completely new thing. It's like being a kid again through him. I see it all through new eyes.
    Trust me, I'm loving it!
    Angie

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  5. Kim, you made some great points. I actually considered a trip this year instead of gifts, but my 17 year old wouldn't hear of it! :) I guess I needed to have started training them earlier. :)

    But I do love to focus on family and all the festivities at the church. I LOVE the candlelight services and Christmas music. I love to reflect on the gift of Jesus--and on all my many blessings.

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