Hello Friends and Family! I can't believe that we are heading into December!! Yes, that most joyous time of the year - you know the one with parties, plays, presents and peppermint everything? :) I have always loved Christmas. As a child I was the first one up, "accidentally" waking everyone else up as I got too impatient to wait for them to wake up on their own. As I grew into a teenager, I was given the task of making something special for breakfast on Christmas to give me something to do while everyone slept in a little. But we were at least allowed to dig into our stockings so that held me at bay for a little bit!
As I have grown into an adult, the "love" of Christmas as been a little bit harder to capture at times. It used to just come so naturally but now I sometimes feel like I have to help "make it" happen. The difference between being the getter to being the giver is a big one! As a parent, I have often fought the pressure of making sure that I could get my child the latest and the greatest. I have caved and paid the price for over committing financially more than one time. I had a good heart and a good motive but that didn't help me to necessarily make good decisions :)
The older I get, the more I appreciate the fact that Thanksgiving is before Christmas. As a kid, it just meant that we were that much closer to Christmas. As an adult, I have learned to use it as a "reset" time. A time to be thankful for what I have and to get my mind back into the right place of appreciating all that has been given to me and to help to spread that gift to others. All growing up, a staple in my house at the holidays was the movie It's A Wonderful Life! I think I can quote most of and I know my dad can...because he does :) When I was younger, I could not appreciate the simple message that the movie conveys but as an adult, I not only get it but I cherish it.
Now let me say this...there is nothing wrong with giving gifts! Trust me, I still love to receive them! wink wink :) But I have found as much joy in giving gifts as I ever did in getting them. I have also learned that some of the greatest, most precious things in life, are not things that you can buy. They are acts of service done for others, quality time spent with the ones you love..you know where you put down the devices and actually enjoy the company of those in your physical presence :) It's the feeling of putting down the pressures of what you don't have, what you not accomplished yet and taking a breather to look around and see what God has blessed you with. Believe me, I know that is not so simple. Some years it is easier to do than others. Life can be hard and there are years you just want it to hurry and get to January already! I am talking about the choice we have on how we are going to look at this season - as Scrooge or George Bailey :)
Like George Bailey in the first part of the movie, I can focus on the fact that I have not accomplished every dream that I had when I was younger, I don't live in the house of my dreams or even have a "significant other" to share my life with. Or like the wiser George in the second half, I can look around and see that I am surrounded by people every day that I love. I have a family that has always supported me, a son that I couldn't be prouder of, and friends that really care about me. The fact that I missed out on that opportunity, or I don't carry this title really pale in comparison to the fact that I have God given opportunities everyday to love people, to share the greatest gift ever given with them. I am truly grateful for a roof over my head, food in my fridge and a great job that I love. The holidays will always be what they are..crazy, hectic, busy and over before you know it! You can spend it looking forward to it being over or you can take a moment to see all that God has blessed you with and remind yourself when it is all said and done...it really is A Wonderful Life!!
So thankful for each of you and pray that God will bless you abundantly this holiday season. Knowing you is one of the things that I am thankful for. My heart felt love to you and yours this Christmas!! :)