Tiff Age 4
At lunch last week, my girlfriend and I were sharing holiday memories from when we were little girls. I mentioned how amazing my mom was at creating traditions not only at Christmas, but she also made a big deal out of Valentine’s Day and Easter. Mom’s work so hard and stress themselves out beyond belief to ensure their babies have a full of wonder holiday experience. Thanks mama! Oh… and can’t forget daddy. He toiled all night on Christmas eve to assemble things like swing sets, Barbie townhouses and electric pianos. Who else got that Barbie townhouse with the cool elevator? My mom bought us a new ornament every year and on Christmas eve we could open just one gift- new PJ’s. We would set out cookies and milk for Santa and mom always (and still does) had either pine or cranberry smelling candles burning. My heart is full right now remembering these childhood traditions. I had lots of challenges as a child, but Christmas was always blessed.
As I write this, the twinkle lights are glowing on the tree and I’m sipping hot cocoa with a splash of peppermint mocha creamer. I hung up all the beautiful Christmas cards we’ve received from friends and wrapped the last gift. I am officially in the holiday spirit and should be wearing an ugly sweater, but I just can’t bring myself to it. LOL. This time last year, I could barely fake being in the holiday spirit. I wasn’t quite a full on grinch, but almost. We had only been living in Dallas for a few weeks and adjusting to ice storms. Our cross-country move cost much more than we expected so the Christmas shopping budget was painfully tight. I didn’t even send out real Christmas cards. An e-card was the best I could do.
As I always say, life happens and we just have to show up and do the best we can with what we’ve got. The ebb and flow of life is inevitable and I’ve learned to surf it instead of fight it. We’ve all had crappy holidays, but even as an adult, it’s much more fun & fabulous to embrace the holiday with childlike wonder than to be a grinch. I was so at peace being back in my home state and that was the best gift ever. Finances may have been tight, but you cannot put a price tag on peace.
ARE YOU IN THE SPIRIT?
This time of year is difficult for many. Perhaps there is family drama or the loss of a family member creates sadness and a void in your heart. Like my holiday last year, maybe your finances are putting a damper on the festivities. I highly recommend doing fun simple things like creating a Christmas station on Pandora, burning holiday candles (I prefer the smell of vanilla over pine, cranberry or peppermint) and watch old Christmas movies. The original Miracle on 34th Street was on a few nights ago! Talk about getting in the spirit when you watch a good old black & white film. My mom, sister and I usually bake cookies together and I look forward to doing that with them next week.
Most importantly- if the holidays make you sad instead of spirited, I highly recommend helping someone else have a good holiday. Your sadness will lift and God will bless you richly. It doesn’t have to be a homeless shelter, although that is so needed, but maybe there’s a single mom at your child’s school who can barely pay the rent much less buy a Christmas tree. You could get her a cute small tree at places like Hobby Lobby or Target. All the holiday decorations are already on sale at both places! Last year, one of my besties gave us a beautiful little decorated tree and I can’t tell you how much life that brought to our new place for the holidays. When I couldn’t bring myself to decorate, a friend pulled through. My spirit was lifted.
Choose to be childlike.
Choose to count your blessings.
P.S. Don’t forget the SOS Stocking Stuffer Giveaway ends 12/24!