I can't believe how long it's been since I posted, and I apologize dear bloggers. The holiday frazzle dazzle has me surely in its grip. I completed all my Christmas shopping the first week in November, so you think I'd be good to go, right? No, of course not. There are Christmas parties, elf-on-the-shelf duties, cookie swaps, school programs, Christmas cards to get in the mail and all that decorating. Why can't they make Christmas lights that actually work year to year?
I have, however, made a promise to myself and I hope you'll join me because it's made all the difference. Every night, if I have nothing else going on, I stop everything at 9 pm. No emails, no phone calls, no wrapping, no addressing envelopes, no elf tricks, nothing. I just sit, make a cup of tea and either read a book or watch a good Christmas movie. It's the only way I can de-stress and get ready for the next day of holiday "must dos."
To all you moms and dads out there, I read in Family Fun magazine a great idea to incorporate the true meaning of the holiday season. I bought three glass jars, wrote one of my child's name on each and then cut out 24 pieces of paper. On each, I wrote a good deed and tossed the 24 pieces of paper in the jar. Now each morning after we open our advent calendar, the girls happily reach for the good deed jar. Every day that they complete their good deed, they put the paper in a fancy box I bought. Then on Christmas eve, we'll put it under the tree as our gift for Jesus. Here are some examples of good deeds:
Choose a toy or book to donate to charity
Set and clear the table
Tell your sisters why you love them
Call an aunt or uncle and tell them you love them
Write a card for nana and pop pop
Hold the door for someone
Tell your teacher she's a great teacher
Do something nice for someone in the family
Pick up a piece of litter
I hope you all are enjoying this holiday season and all the blessings it can bring. While this time does often remind us of painful memories -- loved ones lost and family members we haven't spoken to -- it does offer us an opportunity to enjoy the subtler gifts of life -- peace, love and charity. Spend some time this week relaxing. Don't let the holiday blues get you and steer clear of the holiday stress bug. Take a drive after dinner, play Christmas music and admire the holiday lights around your neighborhood. Bake cookies. Watch a fun Christmas movie -- Hallmark and ABC Family are playing them nightly. Choose an angel off the angel tree in your local mall or church and practice anonymous gift giving.
For those of you celebrating Hanukkah, as you embrace the light and love of these remaining days of this important time, I hope the light of the season stays with you all year and that we can all be mindful of the miracle that light can bring us with faith, hope and prayer.