Earlier in the day, I watched as two gaggles of geese flew over the yard. Honking as they went, one gaggle continued northward and the other southbound. This stumped me on this lovely fall day. It appeared that those geese weren’t sure if they should be coming or going.
Do you ever feel that way? In the hustle and bustle of the quickly approaching holiday season, it is easy to wonder if we are coming or going. Be careful not to allow yourself to fall in that harried trap. There may be a lot of cooking, cleaning, shopping, gift wrapping, traveling, parties, and obligations that can become burdensome and exhausting. Remember why you have all these tasks, and maybe ask yourself a few questions along the way.
Do I have to do everything, or can my husband and children help?
Are there any family, work, or social gatherings that can be attended every other year instead of every year?
How can I make the holidays more enjoyable and less stressful for myself and my family?
Oftentimes, my biggest stresser is holding unrealistically high expectations.. When I can relax those expectations, the holidays are more enjoyable for me as well as for my family. Maybe you share the same problem.
Most important is staying focused on the purpose of these holidays, and that is evident in their names:
THANKSgiving, CHRISTmas, NEW Year.
When you find yourself wondering if you are coming or going, Stop! Give thanks, reflect on Christ, and anticipate memory making in the New Year.
I love family gatherings where stories of days-gone-by are swapped. You know, the ones that siblings spill each others’ shenanigans; or the “when I was your age…” tales. These stories help the generations connect with one another.
I came across a quote the other day. It said, “Every day the chairs would meet and share stories.” This made me wonder, “If my two old rockers could talk, what stories would they tell?”
Oh! And what about the old church pew?
I’m sure it would have stories…
of the church elders, heads bent, petitioning God
of the widow who sobbed quietly as Preacher read the eulogy
of the new believer waiting to be called forward for baptism
of the dad who sat soberly as his daughter said her “I Dos”
of the littlest angel who wiggled and squirmed until time to suddenly appear to the shepherds in the Christmas play
Christmas is a great time for sharing stories. In a couple days we will gather four generations together. I wonder if my dad will tell about the Christmas when he got an air rifle, or if my Mom will tell about Grandpa always reading the Christmas Story from Luke 2?
As your family gathers for the holidays, linger at the dinner table for some story telling. To get started, you might ask, “What is your best childhood Christmas memory?” That’s all it usually takes and other stories will spin off there. The results usually will not disappoint. End your dinner with some laughter, learning something from others and observing how the generations connect through story telling.
“Be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” Deuteronomy 4:9