I start each morning with daily inspirations. I follow several motivational pages on facebook, and Instagram. This morning one popped up that read, “If you don’t have Christmas in your heart, you will never find it under the tree.”
This spoke to me, as just last night my husband and I had a discussion about the commercialization of Christmas. He was telling me about an interview he saw yesterday with someone from the music industry saying that classic Christmas songs have been ruined as they are OVER featured and OVER played on so many commercials – buy, buy, buy. He went on to say that the true spirit of Christmas has been lost
So it brought me to thinking….why do I love Christmas? Because I do. Some visit my home at Christmas and think I am a bit crazy. I’m OCD about my lights on my tree. (I may have 3,000 on it this year.) I set up a Dickens Village that my mother in law has gifted to me over the last 24 years. I set up my Manger with Angels and all. Basically, everywhere you look there’s a little hint of Christmas. Christmas makes me happy. But to me, Christmas is not about receiving – it’s about giving. We have simplified things over the years. With large families on both sides – we do drawings rather than buying for everyone. So each cousin has a special cousin to gift them with something meaningful instead of just buying to buy. My boys, now a bit older (14 and 16) get one meaningful gift from Santa” and a few small items in the stocking. In years past, I would stay up all night to decorate my tree the day I brought it home and always on the 1st of December. Today, it’s the 15th – my tree has been up since 12/1 but I’m done with the pressure and rush to have it finished and work on it a little each day. Right now, it’s just the lights. My Dickens Village is ½ done and Christmas cards were sent yesterday – I actually feel ahead of the game on that one. I am taking IN the Moments. Getting together with business partners I am blessed to call friends. Holiday lunch with girlfriends yesterday – all driving far, because it matters. Celebrating family, our religion. The true meaning of Christmas. And I am happier. I’m not stressed, I am at peace. So SLOW DOWN, enjoy the season – here’s a few tips that help me – and I truly believe if you have Christmas in your heart, you don’t need anything under the tree.
Tips for having Christmas in your Heart:
1. Stay out of the malls – everyone is in a rush and surprisingly not many in a good mood
2. Shop on line – so much more simple or better yet, make the gift yourself
3. Surround yourself with friends and family
4. Give back to the community – we adopt a family through Church and host Marines who have no place to go
5. Take some deep breaths, slow down and enjoy the season
6. Plan your 2018 goals and find an accountability partner(s) that’s on the same page as you
7. Sing a little, dance a little, pray a lot
8. Find what brings YOU Joy this season and make it a priority
9. Give yourself grace – it doesn’t have to be done today!
10. Get a budget and stick with it – it’s not about how much you spend it’s about the thinking that went into the gift