I’m one of those people who jump into projects with both feet. Instead of making a few dozen cookies, I made 1,500. Rolling the dough, cutting out stars, bells, and tiny trees, glazing and decorating all brought back joyful memories. This intense activity also took days, kept me in the kitchen long past bedtime, and left me exhausted.
Shopping, wrapping, writing Christmas cards, and decorating the house with the same abandon blurred the true meaning of the season. They were all good traditions, but were they necessary?
Somewhere along the line, I realized my crazy Christmas preparations needed a healthy dose of moderation. I asked myself several questions:
1. Did the recipients care whether the gift wrapping looked like a work of art?
2. Did I need to make 10 varieties of cookies in huge quantities?
3. Did I have to write a letter in each Christmas card when a short note would work?
The other questions related to what would make Christmas a joyful time:
1. Did I make time to read the Christmas story?
2. Did I have time to laugh, drink hot chocolate, and watch a Christmas movie?
3. Did I relax and enjoy my family or stress out racing from one task to another?
Simplify is the name of the game these days. Jesus is once again the priority, my home is peaceful, and the joy is back.
Thanks Susan. Here's another question that someone asked me years ago:
If you do (or don't) do this (or that), will it really upset the cosmic order of the universe?
I've learned to do less and enjoy more. I'm less frantic, more peaceful, less stressed, more blessed. I wonder what Mary, Joseph or the shepherds would say if they saw how today we honor the babe born in the simplest of circumstances.