Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Priorities

It's a Wonderful Life

"The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing."

Sometimes my Christmas packages are tied up with guilt—the zest I had on Thanksgiving starts to seep out until I feel like a tired balloon. So many people to see, so many places to be, so many things to make and bake and take. It's a challenge to focus and choose: things I'd hoped to do don't get done, friends get checked off my to-do list like chores, and I have to turn off the Christmas music to concentrate on finding a parking place. The Grinch is stalking me.

I get defensive when I feel guilty, and I start arguing my case in my mind (although it sometimes spills out) justifying myself to myself. And, as always when there's any kind of contention, the Spirit of Christmas leaves. It's time to check my list of priorities:

What do I want to have happen?
  1. I want to remember the baby Jesus, the grown up Jesus, and the lessons He taught about how to find joy in living, and peace of mind.
  2. I want to communicate love, encouragement and support to my husband, kids and grandkids—all thirty-five of them—in an unhurried way.
  3. I want to share my heritage with them.
  4. I want to slow down and bask in the beauty of the season.
  5. AND . . . I want to see old aunts, new nephews, cousins, siblings, friends, neighbors; send cards, go caroling, frost cookies, listen to Handel's Messiah; write an Oma book, shop, wrap presents, read Christmas books . . .
Checking my priority list has calmed me down. Scrooge isn't out to get me and that lump of coal thing doesn't apply just because I can't do it all. There will still be life after Christmas. For now, the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. (A silent night can bring joy to my world, if I let it.)


sample said...

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Diane said...

I've just been lying in bed, thinking over the same things. I finally decided today is my day to rush and do as much as I can to finish up the non-people Christmas things. Then I'm going to just let it all be about family and friends.

Let's hope it really works out that way.

Grandma Shelley said...

Great post. I totally get the inability to focus. I took a full day on Saturday to do a Christmas Day Camp with nine of my grands.

I certainly didn't feel like I had the time but I took it anyway. And, so glad I did.

This year we are completing all of the hustle and bustle nine days before Christmas and heading to a remote mountain cabin as a family of 19 and four generations.

We have some special things planned to remind us all of the reason for the season.

Christie said...

AMEN!! I have been killing myself trying to cross everything off my list to make sure we all have a very special Christ-centered Christmas. What? Makes no sense. Time to slow down and focus on the REAL reason. Thanks for the reminder.

kenju said...

AMEN. I like your sermons.

Kay Dennison said...

Well said. I'm ignoring Christmas this year. It's probably ignoring me, too.

Heffalump said...

I have been feeling kind of grinchy this year. No energy, and a general lack of Christmas spirit.
It helps a bit to look at it through the wonder of my two year old's eyes. It is her excitement for the lights (not the gifts) and the decorations and the traditions that is keeping me going.

Anonymous said...

Amen Oma!

You are an encouragement.

Hope your day is warm and toasty!♥

Susan Adcox said...

Excellent post! My Christmas packages, too, are often tied with guilt, or uncertainty, or apprehension. Will she like it? Did I spend enough? Do the presents look even?

It's time to let go of those doubts and take joy in the season.