13 September, 2011
On Sunday, when I arrived at Church, I saw in the hallway 3 table full of things that a person could make during the "Super Saturday" that is coming up in November. This is an annual event, where ladies can go and make all kinds of crafts or food items to either keep or give as gifts during the upcoming Christmas season. I know right!? Did you just think, as I did, it is SEPTEMBER! Why are we already gearing up to get Christmas ready!? I was really taken back by the fact that these tables were there, and had people crowded around them.
This display at Church caught me off guard a little, because I had already had Christmas on the brain for the whole week prior, but not in the - what am I going to buy!/make! for people - run around crazy - kind of way. I have been pondering lately the well known statement "Christmas is always so busy." or, something similar. It puzzles me, a lot. Last year (2010) I made a comment that went something like this - "I don't understand why a lot of people say that they are so busy during December." After making this comment in a group of people, I heard this - "You aren't busy because you only have one child." I really don't think that is true, or at least not the whole reason. I honestly feel that my lack of busyness, during the Christmas season, is due to the choices I have made, and will make.
I long ago got over the idea that I had to go to everything that is going on in town. I don't and I survive. My child doesn't and she survives. I heard a lesson given in Relief Society years ago that talked about priorities. You know the lesson that comes around every so often to remind us we don't have to do everything, because there is no way we can, and how to deal with the stress that life brings. Well, if you ask me, if Christmas is stressing you out! The meaning of the season is missing. Anyway, I took that lesson to heart that day, and my priorities changed. In my world my family comes first. Always. Period. The End. If something will interfere in anyway with my family than it is not something we do.
Speaking specifically about Christmas. About 6 years ago I hated it. Yup, totally disliked it. Felt like it was hardly worth the effort to put up a tree, and the only reason I did was because I had a little kid who wanted one. I never felt like Christmas was the meaningful event that I heard others talk about. But, as I said above, that lesson changed my priorities. I changed my attitude. I changed my outlook. I changed what Christmas was in my home. Last Christmas was perfect. The tree went up early and we decorated it together as a family. I have learned not to re-do anything that Little Bear does to the tree, yes it bugs me and my OCD ways, but it is her tree too, and she loves it. Our tree stayed up longer that it ever did before, in the past is would come down on boxing day, but it stayed up until New Year's. We didn't go to any events that didn't interest us, which gave us lots of time at home, together. We didn't do any Christmas baking, because we didn't want to, and you know what? Our friends & family still love us.
Perhaps my favorite thing about last Christmas was something new that we tried, and advent or countdown to Christmas. Each night we gathered around our lit tree, and we would pull from a bag a picture of Jesus Christ and read the scripture printed on the back. Then Little Bear would find a place on our tree to hang the picture. The spirit of Christmas, or Jesus Christ, was in our home during the season, and I know that made all the difference in the world. I know that it impacted Little Bear, she asked me last week when we could start our picture count down again.
Do I have a point? Maybe I do, and it's really just for me. Choose wisely what you allow to fill you life. Don't forget to leave room for what is really important. Perhaps like me, you too will find the busyness just fades away.