Let’s face it, the calendar is probably already reaching max capacity, and Thanksgiving barely arrived.
The decorating, cooking, baking, church plays, church dinners, office parties, gift swaps, and Christmas cards. Oh, and lest wae forget the ever-painful ornament swap.
If you are fortunate enough to actually finish shopping, the wrapping is most definitely endless.
We cannot forget holiday pictures and those are a must, correct? The pictures where the family has to wear the matching outfits which by the way everyone hates, and the children express their disdain of being touched by their siblings the entire journey to the photographer. You arrive to have a fake mug of cocoa pushed into your hand and ordered to smile! Yes, those pictures.
There is also the painful reality of those who have suffered a loss. Where it be the death of a loved one, a divorce, a break-up or job loss. The holidays amplify that pain to a deafening pitch.
Of course, this is written with satire but laced with truth. Though the schedule is on overload, money is tight and pain of loss is unavoidable, there are things we can to do to in order to thrive. For the barely surviving days, here is a list to keep on hand.
Pray – Let it go. Jesus really is the Reason for the Season. Does He really care if the gift tags do not match the paper?
Perspective – Keep it in perspective. Ask yourself, “Did anyone die, and is it going to matter in 10 years or even next month?”
Slow Down - The only thing we can control is our own pace. It is empowering to realize that we own that destiny.
Don’t fake it - It is OK not to be OK. Just be who you are - where you are. Fighting it only increases incline of the uphill battle.
Don’t Compare – Spend less time on Pinterest and Better Homes & Gardens. Who can live up to either of these? I believe Pinterest in an enigma anyway, and I am sure those homes of BH&G are not real.
Live in the Moment – Not your phone. Be present. How much are we really going to remember of that 4 mile scroll through Facebook anyway?
Gratitude – Be grateful. Find something, and write it down.
Save money by making gifts – Fill a mason jar with sugar scrub and attach a nice note, fill it with ingredients to a recipe and attached directions, or fill it with nice notes or devotions, draw names with only a couple of people. Just say no to purchases. There is nothing wrong with taking a year off from gifting.
Grieving – During the holidays and special occasions, grieving a loss is simply brutal. Allow yourself to grieve in whatever form you choose and make no apologies. This should teach us that time is the most valuable gift to those we love. The rest of the stuff? Well, it is just stuff.
Sheila Fann is a reporter for the Standard. She can be reached at 473-2191.