The Most Wonderful Time of Year?

Christmas is my favorite holiday and I always look forward to the fun traditions it brings. Unfortunately, the past week or so I feel like I’ve been hurtling through December, with an impending face plant into the brick wall of reality that Christmas is just ONE WEEK away. It’s been non-stop at work with 5 separate holiday parties to plan, I crafted for two holiday bazaar booths this month and of course this is the one of the busiest times of year to be a photographer! Even though I was moving at light speed and constantly crossing things off my to-do list, everywhere I looked I saw signs that I was failing:

  • That laundry basket of sheets on my counter which needs to be folded and stored in the vacuum seal bags I got for items on the top shelf of our master closet. FAIL.
  • The large box filled with smaller empty boxes left over from shipping Christmas presents out, still sitting next to the bar wall. FAIL
  • The dust bunnies that swirl in my wake as I hustled down the hallway to and from our bedroom. FAIL
  • The kitty litter I feel beneath my feet on the laundry room floor as I put on my boots each morning. FAIL
  • The pile of supplies sitting on counter for Christmas craft projects that will likely not happen before Christmas. FAIL
  • The box of holiday décor items by the front door that was left out to because I had grand plans to do some more decorating on the porch, but haven’t. FAIL
  • The photos I took for the blog that I haven’t had time to edit for posts. FAIL
  • The outfits for family pictures which I haven’t taken for our Christmas cards that also haven’t been designed yet. FAIL
  • The pile of ‘stuff’ to go through on the side table by my chair which has been there for over 6 months. FAIL
  • The set of classic Christmas movies I haven’t had time to watch yet this year even though it’s one of my favorite traditions. FAIL
  • The spare room full of stuff that is waiting for other projects to be done so they can be stored or displayed. FAIL
  • The coupon for the photo book I was supposed to order weeks ago for my grandmother’s Christmas present. FAIL
  • The funky looking stem of our Christmas tree that I had planned to hide with a tub or crate this year but didn’t. FAIL
  • The empty spots in our pantry because I haven’t gone grocery shopping. FAIL

The list goes on and on. Each item added another layer of guilt, coupled with a major lack of sleep, which made me feel overwhelmed and downright Grinchy. I was in need of some serious grace. That’s when God led me to this post and this post (two of my favorite blogs) to remind me we all have our flaws and self-criticisms, it’s part of being human. And then to reassure me that he made me strong and capable of handling any struggle he drew my attention to two presentations on Lifetime (The Red Tent and Women of the Bible) that highlight the important, yet often overlooked role women play in his plans.

It all gave me a revised perspective and made me notice the blessings I’d overlooked recently.

  • The hubs planned meals for the next week and went grocery shopping for all the ingredients.
  • Despite this being the first Christmas with us or ever for three of our fur children there has been no damage to our tree or ornaments.
  • Although there isn’t a ‘family’ picture for the Christmas card yet I was able to capture a great group shot of the dogs that I absolutely adore.
  • I found personal and thoughtful gifts for most on my list and all have been shipped in time to be opened on Christmas morning, plus I’ve come up with a plan to still get my grandmother her photo book in time.
  • We’ve accomplished a lot of projects around the house since we moved in this time last year and have plans to complete the next few soon.
  • The hubs recently got a job offer for a new position which comes with a substantial raise that will help us pay down our debts.
  • I received an exceptional compliment on my work ethic and success from the President of the company I work for, which was followed up with multiple comments in agreement from several senior managers.
  • And most importantly, we are all in good health and in need of no life basics.

It’s not a complete 180, but my mood has shifted. I’m taking time to enjoy a little bit of Christmas each day starting with watching A Charlie Brown Christmas last night surround by my fur babies as I sat in my chair by the fire. It was just another message from above. Watching Charlie Brown’s desire to celebrate the season with a heart of joy was like looking in the mirror and when Linus remind everyone what the real reason for the season was it drove the nail home. And I’m so glad it did.

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