“A little smile, a bit of love from someone near, a little gift from one held dear, best wishes for the coming year…..these make a Merry Christmas! ~ John Greenleaf Whittier
For weeks now I have been looking through Southern Living Christmas books, visiting websites and flipping through current magazines trying to get myself in the spirit of Christmas. No matter how soon I start thinking and planning, Christmas is here before I know it and the pressure is on. Hurry, hurry, hurry…..I need a little Christmas……right this very minute!
Like you, my schedule is busy and there’s not always time to do extra. I still want my home to look festive and to create the wonderful atmosphere of the holidays. Above all, I want to celebrate the things that are truly important: family, friends, giving, and most of all, the reason we celebrate – the hope and the wonder of Jesus Christ’s birth, life, death and resurrection.
“Haul out the holly; put up the tree before my spirit falls again. Fill up the stocking, I may be rushing things, but deck the hall again now. For we need a little Christmas right this very minute, candles in the window, carols at the spinet. Yes, we need a little Christmas right this very minute.” This familiar song (written by Jerry Herman for the show “Mame” in 1966) makes me feel like I am already behind before I get started….so much to do!
I do think, as a woman, you may feel like it is up to you to make the “spirit” of Christmas happen for your family and you can get caught up in all you have to do. Those are my feelings exactly! Christmas is a time of joy, peace and goodwill. Too often the planning and the preparation can be intimidating and overwhelming and, instead of Christmas being a blessing, it is more of a burden.
It is easy to feel stressed before the first Christmas carols are sung with all the season’s activities before you. A few tips to help you, and me, enjoy the ‘most wonderful time of the year’:
- Take a few minutes each day and remind yourself of the reason for the season. Christ’s birth is why Christmas is celebrated.
- Do Google searches on some of the things used to decorate for the season: poinsettia, mistletoe, candles, Christmas tree, Advent wreath, Santa Claus, etc. You might be totally surprised to learn why these are symbols of the holiday.
- Make a list and check it twice. You may need to shorten your gift list, simplify your decorating, stay within your budget and learn to say ‘no.’
- Don’t hesitate to ask for help. When others pitch in and help, family celebrations will be fun and more relaxing for everyone.
- Stick with the ‘tried and true.’ A holiday dinner party may not be the best time to try a new recipe.
- Cultivate joy. Take time in the midst of all the holiday activity and pause to take in joy by simply looking around you and becoming more aware of your surroundings.
- Sing the music of Christmas. Even if you don’t think you can carry a tune, you can sing along when you hear a carol played on the radio or hum along when you are out and about shopping and hear the holiday music being played. “Music is a tonic for a fatigued intellect and a stressed spirit.”
- Give thanks for all you have because it is a gift from God. There are many others who have needs…..look for ways to help someone who may be in a difficult place this season.
- Cultivate kindness and thoughtfulness. A little courtesy and a smile can brighten another person’s day.
May these ideas help you to feel less stress as you prepare to celebrate with your family and friends. Thinking of all this season means in our lives, we all “Need a little Christmas” and can give a little Christmas every day of the year. Merry Christmas to you and yours!
Consultations with Ava are chock full of information you can use right away. The result is easy to live with changes that can jump-start your decorating projects while stretching your decorating $$$. Call to schedule an appointment in the New Year.
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