It is already Dec. 2nd and I, like most of you I imagine, have begun all of our usual Christmas festivities. We spent the week-end getting our decorations up, (I haven't taken pictures yet, but they are coming) my cards are in the mail (early for me but I wanted to get our new address out to many of our friends and family who live out of state) and our calendar is already pretty full with various different gatherings, parties, and events. I LOVE this time of year. And yet of course, unfornately, it comes with its share of stress as well, and for many it is a really hard time of year as they face the holidays with loved ones missing, financial difficulties, or illnesses.
I have always wanted to go through the Christmas season with all of the busy work done BEFORE the month began so that I could just ENJOY the season. I want to be free to really focus on the reason for the season, and fill my days with activities that let me do just that. I had it in my head that my shopping would be done BEFORE Thanksgiving, and by Dec. 1st the decorations would be up, presents wrapped and under the tree, and I would stroll about stress free from activity to activity, and free to volunteer my time and effort where I can to help those soo much less fortunate than myself. But again I find it just isn't happening. We have cut WAY back on our spending and shopping these last couple of years, and yet I have been blessed with such a large family that even buying just 1 small gift for all of my kids and grandkids (which is VERY difficult for me as there is just soo much I want to give them and that quite frankly they need) and our parents (we eliminated ourselves a few years ago) that it amounts to 19 gifts! I don't know if that sounds like a lot to some of you or not, but for me it seems like quite a few. Shopping is VERY difficult with my knees. I am good for maybe 1 hour (and that's a push) and then I can hardly walk (for the rest of the day btw). Soo of course on-line shopping seems the way to go but I have found I really don't like that. It is hard to see what I am looking at, I have found colors and sizes to vary, and sometimes I just want to handle it and browse around. You know what I mean? I have done some on-line shopping and I imagine I will do some more before I am done. But I am NOT getting to the point of this post, haha, imagine that? Last night as I went to bed I found myself (instead of falling asleep) going over all the things I need to do (day by day practically) to get everything done by the time it needs to be done. My circumstances are also complicated by the fact that I have 2 grand daughters, my husband and my sister who all have birthday's in December all of which require more gatherings (juggling schedules is always difficult this month of the year) and gifts. I found myself laying there with a very familiar feeling of stress. I finally got up and grabbed my Bible and went out to the living room to spend a little time reading and in prayer. How glad I am that I did. Everything I read seemed to be pointing me in the same direction...Christmas ISN'T about the presents, the decorations, the baking, or even about the family gatherings (the biggest thing in my book usually) but about the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior. Jesus really is the reason for the season...My focus has got to be on Him. And if that means some things (traditional or not) just don't get done, it's OK. And if some of the presents I give don't have the usual time spent searching for just the "right" thing, that's OK too. But what isn't OK is less time spent with Him.
This morning as I browsed quickly on facebook I came across this video and I just HAD to share it with all of you since it is just what I had been feeling and talking about. The woman has a beautiful voice as well. I LOVE the words of this song. I pray that you all are ENJOYING this time of year and that you are not letting yourselves feel too stressed (like I was) with the busyness of it all. I'd love to hear some of your holiday traditions, and how you find ways to focus on Him as well. I have never been able to get one of these things to post right before, so I am really hoping this works. Take just a minute to listen to the words...I know you will be blessed.
I' ve linked up with Then Sings My Soul Saturday....You can join the other singing posts HERE. You will be soo blessed if you do.