Next year I’ll enjoy Christmas

Every year after Christmas this is what I tell myself….

“Next year, I am going to have all of my shopping done in October and the wrapping done in November so that I will be able to enjoy Christmas.”

Guess what… I have yet to reach this lovely goal!

How many of you have felt this same way. That if you were just more organized, if you had more time, or maybe more money, then the holidays wouldn’t be so stressful. Maybe your wishing that you had done the wrapping in November so that on Christmas Eve you could sit back with the fireplace on, relax and enjoy some egg nog and a Hallmark Christmas movie. Wouldn’t that just be the most picture perfect Christmas Ever?!

This year an amazing thing happened for me. I decided that I was just going to enjoy Christmas. I did not get my shopping done in October, in fact far from it. I spent my entire Christmas Eve Eve in traffic, lineups and the last minute Christmas gift chaos! And do you know what, it was perfect. 

I got to share that crazy chaos with my sister. I am visiting my hometown for Christmas so spending that day with my sister who I don’t get to see very often was amazing even amidst all the long lineups.

With travel at the holidays comes inconvenience. Living from a suitcase is not my favorite. Managing my kids in someone else’s house, especially at this time of year when they are extra excited has it’s challenges. I am choosing to enjoy every minute of it anyways. Every minute memories with cousins and grandparents are being made. Every minute opportunities for love and strengthened relationships are possible. Every minute I make a choice to enjoy it or not enjoy it. 

One of my favorite movies is the Polar Express. It was the one movie I wanted to sit down and watch with my family this Christmas. When I got home from my Christmas Eve Eve shopping extravaganza my entire family was halfway through watching the Polar Express without me. Immediately I noticed myself begin to get a little bit irritated. Then I asked myself why. This was the perfect little moment and I was about to allow myself to miss it. 

 I snuggled up on the couch with my four year old and watched the rest of the movie with everyone. I let myself enjoy that movie more than I ever have before. 

As we prepare for the big arrival of Santa this Christmas Eve, I could easily let myself become distracted today with thoughts of our families regular Christmas traditions, that are so much more easily kept when we are in our own home. Instead I am choosing to enjoy the nearness to extended family, the love and charity they have all extended to us. I am choosing to focus my attention on the reason for the season.  I am also choosing to believe that Santa will enjoy the store bought cookies just as much as our homemade Ginger Sparkle Cookies that we normally bake for him! 

I could prevent myself from enjoying Christmas by focusing on all of the things that are different or are missing. By thinking only about what is inconvenient or what I want Christmas to be, I miss out on Christmas altogether. My brain is really great at helping me try and find all the reasons why I can’t enjoy it. 

The truth I have discovered is that just as my brain can find reasons to not be able to enjoy Christmas, it is also more than capable at finding so many great reasons why I can.

This Christmas remind yourself to choose to enjoy Christmas no matter what yours looks like.

Wishing you and yours the Happiest of Holidays from my crazy family to yours!

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