These are the days when I have to remind myself to breathe. If you’re like me, our feet hit the floor first thing in the morning and we rarely stop until we fall into bed at night. It is a flurry of activity, much of which has nothing to do with Christmas…just standing commitments and the stuff of daily life. In our house, basketball season definitely gives the Christmas season a run for its money. It could easily take priority, but since it lasts from December through February, I try to keep Christmas as the priority and my Christmas spirit in tact. Add home cleaning and decorating, baking, Christmas shopping and/or gift making, cards, and various Christmas parties and celebrations at school, work and church and it makes for a full plate! However, I am still intent on not missing out on the daily "moments" and special things that this season brings.
I began December intending to find the gifts that each day brings and unwrap them as I go. Whether you choose to call it abundance or gratitude or a dozen other things, it really is all the same thing. It is managing our thoughts, understanding that our thinking really does dictate our actions and attitudes. The Christmas season is the ideal time to see this correlation in action. Coincidentally, I read this by Max Lucado just this morning…
"You’ve got to admit some of our hearts are trashed out. Let any riffraff knock on the door, and we throw it open. Anger shows up, and we let him in. Revenge needs a place to stay, so we have him pull up a chair. Pity wants to have a party, so we show him the kitchen. Don’t we know how to say no? Many don’t. For most of us, thought management is, well, unthought of. We think much about time management, weight management, personnel management, even scalp management. But what about thought management? Shouldn’t we be as concerned about managing our thoughts as we are managing anything else?" ‘Thought management.’ That’s exactly what I’m trying to do to reflect the Christmas spirit and the gifts that each day brings.
Yesterday, a friend returned some items that she had borrowed from me. With them, a box of Deluxe Junior Mints, individually wrapped especially for the holidays. Unsolicited, unexpected and a definite favorite, it was a real treat… one of those literal gifts that this season brings. Then, last night, more gifts! It was one of my only evenings home this week. I had big plans for decorating the house. Instead, I ended up hovering around the television set singing with my daughter and husband while we tried to participate in the show, "Don’t Forget the Lyrics." There was joy and singing and lots of laughter. We only wished our other daughter had been there. She has an incredible memory for song lyrics. We probably could have "won" $100,000! As it was, we still won. Joy and laughter… they are true gifts. I could have missed it, despising the time, seeing it as "wasted" because I did not get done what I wanted. I chose to enjoy it and found that it actually energized me to get a little bit of decorating done later in the evening. More gifts… time with family and fresh energy.
What gifts has your day brought you? Have you received a Christmas card in the mail, fresh inspiration for a project, or a new supply to create with? Perhaps you have received a blanket of snow, a call from a loved one or a much-needed hug. Have you had coffee with a friend or dessert with your kids? They may not have been wrapped in red and green with a big bow, but they are gifts, nonetheless.
As the days get a little more frenzied and the lists grow a bit longer, may you practice "thought management" and delight in the gifts that each day brings. Go ahead and unwrap them… you don’t have to wait until Christmas!
Savoring the Season with you,