Are feeling grateful? Are you counting your blessings as you review your holiday shopping list? Probably, not right? Are you complaining about all the time you’ll have to spend with the extended family or on other holiday tasks? I want to challenge you to let go of the worry and stress this holiday season and focus more on gratitude.
What is she saying? This girl is crazy. Her list is clearly not as long as mine. That’s what your thinking right. You have too much to do and not enough time. How will you be able to afford everything. When will you sleep. Bare with me. Pause a moment if you will.
Take a good look at your holiday shopping list. Look at every name on; let it sink in. Every person on that list blessing in your life. Someone who is special to you. Someone who enriches your life probably in a pretty profound way if they made it onto your holiday list. Think of the alternative. What if you didn’t have anyone on your Christmas list? What would your life be life? What if some of those precious people on your list didn’t make it to see Christmas this year? What if you had an empty seat at your holiday table? How would you feel? Would it be a relief that your list was smaller, that you had less to do and less to prepare for? It wouldn’t be I can promise you that. Shopping for friends and family is a privilege. I savor every minute of it. I wrap presents and watch Christmas movies and I enjoy myself. I look forward to the moment I get to see that someone special unwrap their gift or read the words I took the time to write in their cards.
WHAT TO DO?
If you are feeling stressed about spending time with certain people in your family; address it. Figure it out. They are your family after all. What better time than the holidays to finally come together and work out whatever issues that you’re having. A day will inevitably come where working it out will no longer be an option. Don’t wait. Make this year different.
If you are stressed about money this holiday season figure out a plan. Think of thoughtful gifts that you could make or less expensive but still thoughtful gifts you could purchase. Talk to your family; maybe you could do secret Santa instead buying for everyone. If you are a parent and struggling look into programs that can help. If you’re from the Saint John are you can reach out to the food bank, the empty stocking fund or other organizations that help families over the holidays. Maybe you could event focus of less gifts and more time. Read Why I think you should gift more experiences here.
In the grand scheme of life what goes under the tree this year isn’t nearly as important as who’s around it so try to let go of worry and stress this holiday season. Stop complaining about shopping and all holiday to-dos. Instead, every time your purchase a gift for someone take a moment to feel gratitude for everything they bring to your life. When your baking holiday cookies think about how blessed you are to have a beautiful family to bake for. Make amends. Create a plan and reach out for help when you need it. And don’t forget to have fun, smile; it’s the holidays. There is magic in the air.
Stop complaining. Count your blessings and feel more gratitude for everyone on your holiday shopping list.
Make a plan or reach out for help if you are financially stressed
Focus on who’s around your tree not what’s under it. Spend more time with the people you love this holiday season. Bake cookies together, go sliding, eat dinner together, make Christmas cards or come up with your own fun ideas.
Empty Stocking Fund – Applications closed but might be worth looking in to. Perhaps they would take some late applications
Saint John Community Christmas Exchange– Register with them and they can pass on your information to an organization, Church or family looking to help.