They’re coming….the Holidays…..what do they mean to you? Cooking, cleaning, shopping, decorating, relatives, entertaining, traveling?????
Wow, I’m tired just typing out those words, and I’m sure that I’ve missed a few. There is no doubt that for most of us the Holidays involve a change of the routine and more work. I suppose that we should keep in mind those for whom the Holidays are just another day, those with no homes, families, etc. Their stress is certainly on a different level.
For most of us, however, it is time to plan and try to do all the extras while maintaining our own daily schedules – how do we do it year after year?
It is because of all of the distractions, all the media hype, all the secular ‘stuff’, all the business, and all the expectations from without and within that we often fail to ‘live’ the Holidays, not simply ‘get through them’. How many of us think that we actually need a vacation when the Holidays are over, just to relax a bit?
Holidays are meant to be an oasis in our daily lives. A time to spend with family, if we are blessed enough to have family that wants to be together. They are a time to eat a bit more, laugh a bit more, and sometimes, cry a bit more. They are a time apart. They may not be that ‘desert experience’ of quiet solitude, perhaps they are more of a ‘dessert experience’, but we should enjoy and appreciate every moment of them.
There’s still much to do, thinking, planning, doing, but before you know it, they will be here and gone. We must try to ignore how the world instructs us to celebrate…..bigger, better, busier. We are blessings, our families and friends are blessings, the food on our tables are blessings, and for that I am most grateful.
You pose this well – blessing or stress. I have had numerous stressful Thanksgivings (and other holidays) for various reasons. As I pray and consider savoring life and gratitude, I want to be present to my family and to myself this Thanksgiving… easier said than done!
I’m with you Fran. This was written for me as well as others. It is easier said than done…so true.
Andie: The most important thing, to cut out all the “junk” and enjoy the time, because it is oh so fleeting! I made a commitment one year and it kind of stuck with me, to conciously avoid (as much as possible) anything is not “needed” so I don’t bake 4 kinds of Christmas cookies, so what! So much of the pressure was self inflicted. You are very right, it will be over all too soon! It is easier said than done, and prayer stopping for “small” moments along the way is key…..Lori
Lori, you are so right….we do so much of this to ourselves. Let’s all keep the wisdom of each other in mind throughout this season.
Blessing, definitely. For me, it’s all about planning. I plan far ahead and get much done early on so that for most of the season, the pace isn’t frantic. A little extra effort goes a long way in enjoying the beauty of this time of year.
Joanne, you are inspiring…I’m off to shop and plan recipes.
Somehow this year is especially easy… it’s not at my house!! 🙂 We do have Christmas Eve here, but this year our daughter is having the whole tribe over for Thanksgiving… one more thing to be thankful for!!
Yes indeed, and I’m sure that it will be wonderful…safe traveling Sonja.
Yes, yes, Andie! I am trying to downsize this year — fewer gifts, less running around like a madwoman, more time spent at home with the family. I do hope it leads to a less stressful, more God-focused holiday.
Thanks for visiting Graceful!
I hope so too Michelle, I will follow your lead. Thank you for stopping by.
Just one year I’d like to TRULY enjoy the holidays. Without the stress and the worry and the deadlines and the STUFF. I keep thinking “next year…”
I am praying this is my year…
I know what you mean…..thank God for next year and for never giving up the dream.
Good wisdom. I’m so so looking forward to the holidays as a time of REST! But if I’m going to pull that, I need to be pretty disciplined, eh…
Yes, daily reminders and sitting on the couch!
Good thoughts that you’ve shared … sometimes it’s just a difference in attitude that we need, sometimes more being and less doing.
Absolutely…I love that lind, more being and less doing. I know that no one will starve at my house if I cut back a bit. Thanks!
We of course don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK; but we do have Christmas and (in Scotland especially) the New Year. Sadly, it tends to be an excuse to over indulge and comercialism takes over.
Victor, from your blog I would guess that you give thanks every day.
You have a knack of getting to the “heart of the matter” of life in your posts. Thank you. I have been enjoying my visits here. The Holidays can be hectic for me though I know they shouldn’t be.
Thank you, Mary, for your very kind words. I’m so glad that you stop by. They are hectic for me as well.
Being that we are celebrating our first real Advent Season as budding Catholics – I’m finding myself seeing the holidays as more of a blessing than in the past. Like others I’m focusing on reducing the # of gifts exchanged, spending quiet time meditating and praying.
Thanksgiving comes first though and this year – well, blessing doesn’t even begin to cover it. After a year of enormous emotional pain at the hands of most of my family – my brother and I have reconciled and will be seeing each other next week, for the first time in 10 years.
Blessing. We need a new word.
Oh Kris, that is wonderful news. I will pray for a joy-filled reunion. You have the right spirit about the holidays – meditation and prayer will always keep the holiday peace in your hearts. You are setting a great example.
We don’t officially celebrate Thanksgiving here in the Bahamas. However we’re pretty big on Christmas:) I try not to get caught up in the busyness of it all though, however sometimes I do better than others.
I’m with you Bernadine. Maybe this will be one of those non-busy years.
friend, i know. isn’t it craziness? holidays remind me of the sabbath. sundays are supposed to be holy and quiet, and yet they so often are filled with buzz and chaos. but we can make of this life what we want. we can carry this quiet and serenitiy in our hearts, even as we travel. love to you, sister. happy thanksgiving!
Thanks and I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving as well. You make an excellent point about carrying the peace in our hearts. Quiet in the midst of noise, I’m going to try to carry that with me in these busy days.