How do we feel the spirit of the season when we are so over-committed and rushing around from obligations to the next party? When we’re so focused on materialism and busyness that it blinds our ability to actually feel and see what is really important?
This last week as we cleaned through our kid’s bedrooms, we got rid of stuff. I piled the car trunk and backseat full of bags and boxes. As I wrote previously (Don’t Lose Your Joy), our family is cutting way back on gift-giving this year, which is evident by looking at our empty tree!
In adding even a few gifts back into our home for each family member, I feel it’s so important to get rid of “stuff” before we bring more in!
It feels good. It feels freeing. It feels right to have less.
I’ve also cut back on filling up the holiday schedule. I’ve purposely left days open this season to be able to feel and to see. I found myself trying to justify this to a friend recently, and I’m not sure she understood. But it is important to me and my husband. We want to be able to go with the flow.
It’s taken me years to learn this: To keep things simple! To make time to actually feel and see what is right before us.
• To be open to hospitality and last minute dinner invites.
• To stay home with the family and enjoy FAMILY TIME hanging, eating and watching TV together. To feel what family really is about.
• To have a last minute “date night” with my husband, which is often more important than going out with friends.
• To hear the laughter in my home, and to respond to it.
• To listen to the background Christmas music that we’ve made a priority in our home this year.
• To see when my children have a need, and to be there for them.
• To take pleasure in giving to others.
• To take the time to encourage a friend!
As I’m heading off to Good Will today, to donate my stuff, it will be very freeing.
But more freeing will be sticking to my goal of a lighter schedule.
And ultimately not losing my senses and forgetting to feel and see.
Emmanuel. God with us.
How are you making changes this year, so that you don’t miss out on the importance of the season?
And do you feel the same way about getting rid of stuff before bringing more in?
(PIX: Dinner at my sister's this last weekend. And 2 very old Christmas tablecloths that we girls grew up with, passed down from our Mother.)
Also, I’m such a “toss it together” salad maker that I don’t think to give out the recipes! In my last post, the ingredients to the salad were spinach, red cabbage, onion, avocado, and mandarin oranges. Use your favorite dressing!