Holidays or Havoc?

The holidays are here. All year we look forward to this season to spend with family. Or maybe you don’t look forward to it because of the stress it may bring. Let’s be honest when I blast Christmas music before Thanksgiving (or anytime of the year) I get a few looks..

I am an avid Christmas lover. I am there watching the Countdown to Christmas on Hallmark in October and the halfway mark to Christmas in July. Yes, I do have my Hallmark Christmas shirt on as well! Is it Christmas that I love so much? Not really. It’s the feeling, the joy, the spirit and true meaning of Christmas. It’s the love, the family, the giving and gracious hearts it brings. But for some, it does come with a lot of added stress and as a new mother I get that. I think we have veered away from what Christmas is really about. I think we have made it about ourselves. Christmas has never been about us or what we can give to buy another persons love. 

Let’s get back to the magic of Christmas. Let’s bring back kid like spirit of joy, laughter, love and silliness. Let’s teach our children the true meaning of Christmas, that Christmas is about Jesus Christ, the birth of our Savior. Yes, Santa, presents and all the excitement is so much fun, but let us not forget to instruct our children on the reason behind the season. Don’t get me wrong I love me some Santa Claus and the tradition of the Santa tracker will continue in this household! 

Did you have traditions growing up as a kid? Certain things that you and your family did leading up to Christmas? Lets instill traditions in our children. Lets start new traditions! Let’s bring the fun back and throw the stress out. A couple of tradition’s my husband and I both did with our family that we are passing along is letting the kids open a present on Christmas Eve and making reindeer food to sprinkle out for the reindeer! Of course, making cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve as well! A few traditions we have started on our own is going to our towns annual Christmas festival to see Santa. We also read a chapter a night, as a family, out of the book of Luke talking with our Son about Jesus and the meaning of Christmas. 

Are the holidays hard on people? Yes. The holidays can be difficult for many reasons. Money might be a little tight, and usually is around this time. Your loved ones might not be in the best health. As a pediatric nurse I have seen family not get to spend their holidays at home because their baby is sick in the hospital. Or maybe you have a loved one overseas that you wish could be home. My papaw just passed away on Thanksgiving. I have wondered why it had to be that day. Why was it not the day before or the day after? Then I think, maybe Jesus knew our entire family would all be together and there for my meme. Or maybe He always wanted us to remember the true meaning of Thanksgiving. You see, we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. We worry if we will have enough money. We spend way too much money. We buy things that we really don’t need. We try to get the best gift or the most expensive to show our love for someone. But wait, is it really about that? Thanksgiving and Christmas and the entire Holiday season is a reminder to slow down, to appreciate life. To help the one who might need a little extra money to buy food or a gift. To help the exhausted mother carry her groceries to the car for her or simply take her basket back in after loading them. To help the widow pump her gas because her husband used to do that for her. To help the little old lady cross the busy parking lot. To buy the coffee for that same exhausted mother. To give one more kiss to your baby before putting them to bed. To babysit for the new parents down the street so they can have a much needed date night. To tell the officer thank you for his service and protection because he doesn’t get to spend the holidays with his family. To make time for family and friends. To simply be thankful for the blessing of family.

The holidays help us slow down at the end of the year so we can have a fresh reminder at the next year. We need to take the time to enjoy each other’s company. We need to make memories with each other because that is what will last a lifetime. We need to spread kindness and love to all around us so that maybe they will spread it along as well. We need to make the time and stop saying “I just don’t have the time.” We need to take the picture and then take another one. The days and years pass so very quickly and the memories are what stays. The expensive gift will soon be broken or out of date. The memories, the pictures, the love felt is what your children will remember. The giving and being thankful at Thanksgiving is what they will remember. The spirit of Christmas is what they will remember. Family time and your love for them is what they will remember. My Meme, married 66 years, told me once my Papaw passed, “Tell Landry (my husband) you love him every day because we aren’t promised tomorrow and family is all you’ve got.”