Well, I wrote this on December 24th, intended to revise & publish it on the 26th, and…well, I just didn’t. I found it in my draft posts. I’m not one to let a a hard-written post go to waste, so here we go.
This has been the most delightful Christmas season for me. Christmas is pretty much always great but this year has been nothing but joy & peace. I was reflecting on what made this year different and here’s what I came up with. Hopefully I’ll look back next year and do the same thing!
Money. We have never been ones to go crazy with gifts or over-spend, but this year was our very first credit-card-free Christmas. The bill has never been too big to pay, but you still know it’s going to come sometime in January. This year we had a clear budget, written gift list, and bought everything with our debit cards. We have been able to enjoy shopping without the nagging thought of, “I wonder how much this is all adding up to?” Shopping was stress-free and fun!
Time. I got a whole week off before Christmas. Typically, if I take time off work, we go out of town. Having an entire week to stay home and do all the fun Christmas-y things – cooking, baking, wrapping, Christmas-light-looking, Christmas-movie-watching – made for a completely relaxing holiday!
Family. Night after night after night we had parties or dinners or gatherings. Driving home every evening I felt wrapped in love and so grateful for all of the wonderful people in our lives. Whether it was actual family, friends that feel like family, or our church family, I was reminded that we have been abundantly blessed.
Giving. Isn’t this one of the best parts of Christmas? I love watching our son open gifts that we know will delight him. I love watching my husband open gifts that I know will surprise him. We had the privilege to participate in supporting a couple of families in need this Christmas, and it feels that the whole processes blesses us more than the families. I LOVE the giving part of Christmas!
Purposeful. We had a plan, and wrote down the things we wanted to do this Christmas season. With a clear plan in place we never felt like we had to “hurry up and get everything in” or that we missed out on something that we really wanted to do.
Simple. I don’t understand people who get stressed out during the holidays. I’m pretty sure it is not supposed to be a stressful time. We did host one event, but we kept it pretty simple. No big sit-down dinner, just appetizers, visiting, and gift-giving. *Happy sigh*
Jesus! Reflecting on the real reason for the season with gratitude helps to put everything else in perspective.
How did you keep your Christmas merry this year? What tips do you have that you want to remember and repeat next year?