Sunday, December 13, 2015 / 28 Comments

Slow Down and Enjoy the Holidays



The older I get the more I see the pressure adults feel around the holidays. 

                          

With work parties to go to, social parties to attend, family celebrations to attend, decorations to get up, food to shop for and cook, meals to plan, the house to clean, cards to get out, presents to buy and wrap and sometimes even travel arrangements to make... it's no wonder people are flat out exhausted.

Whew.... I'm tired just saying that!


 I'm acting as your Fairy Godmother and telling you to slow down and enjoy the little moments.


Did you notice the older couple holding hands at the mall while you were busy shopping for your gifts. They make me think of the wonderful Christmases I spent with my grandparents growing up. Did you have some great Christmas memories growing up? I did and they were wonderful I loved my Grandparents house.

                                       

What about seeing all the kids eyes light up. Children's eyes are so fun when they light up and see Santa or the Christmas lights. Do you remember the first time you met Santa or road around in the car with your family and friends to look at Christmas lights?

                                 

Have you stood back, turned off the lights in your house, sipped on a cup of hot cocoa and really looked at how pretty those Christmas lights on the tree are?  What about taking time to make some homemade smores with your kids and sit down and do some giggling. 

                                       

Do you still have the different decorations you have made and collected over the years? I remember those little colored crystals that you used to sprinkle in the pre-made forms and bake in the oven and they came out looking like stained-glass ornaments. Did you make those too? They are so hard to find now. Most of them are plastic forms instead of metal and don't hold up.

                             

Maybe you used to go and cut down your own tree with the family? At our house we always have had a fake one due to allergies but now they make sprays you can use that smell like the real ones but don't have all the needles.

Here is the thing I've learned 


The older I get I realize Christmas isn't about getting it all done but it's about enjoying each and every little moment during the season. Yes your kids will remember that new Play Station you got them but do you want to remember how long you paid on your credit cards to pay that thing off? Does your 8 year old really need another video game?  Do the older kids really need a North Face jacket? Will my computer last one more year until another sale? Does my hubby really want another tie or even like that cologne?

Have you ever sat down and wrote a letter to the person you are wanting to give an gift to and just told them all the reasons you love them and why they are important to you?

I'm not saying don't give your family and friends gifts I'm just saying maybe the big gifts can be reserved for the birthday and maybe we can go back to when Christmas was about loving and giving to those in need.

In our house we celebrate Christmas as Jesus' Birthday. For us Jesus is the Reason for the Season, maybe in your house it's something different. 

We still do all the Christmas lights and I try to get the Christmas cards out and I love baking homemade goodies for my neighbors and friends but we are done with extravagant over the top Christmases. 

For me nothing says somebody loves me more than them taking the time to sit down and visit with me. Making me homemade goodies works pretty well too, wink.

Don' t forget and get too busy with the activities of the season that you are just checking off boxes on a to-do list but that you are really spending time making memories.

Have you had your kids and family go through your old stuff to donate off to your local rescue mission for those in need? 

I still remember my first trip to Mexico with my mom and one of my brothers. I was in jr. high and we stopped in Laredo, TX and walked over the long bridge into Mexico to shop. There were so many cool goods to buy and they were so cheap. We hauled this $5 ceramic Santa that goes outside back over the bridge to the hotel. On the way back over the bridge it was dark and freezing and there was this little girl, she couldn't have been more than 8 or 9 and she was barefoot and freezing and had a little plastic cup in between her knees begging for some change. I remember all of a sudden that $5 Santa and all those other goodies weren't as important. I got to go back to the hotel for a nice dinner and a warm bed. She was stuck as a child on a bridge, barefoot and freezing, begging for some change. 

My mom rushed us back to the hotel as the beggers were coming out in droves and started chasing us. Once back to the hotel, we headed for dinner. We were on vacation so my mom ordered us steaks. My mom kept asking me what was wrong. I think she already knew. I wanted to package up my steak and take it back out to that little girl on the bridge. 

My mom informed me that wasn't safe and it wasn't possible.

I've always remembered that little girl. 

The point of my story to you is that there are lots of little girls and big girls and boys and girls and women and men of all ages that don't have extravagant Christmases either. In my house I want us to be thankful for what God has given us and I want our family to give back. 

The bible says, Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

This Christmas you may not have a lot of money or even time to give but maybe this holiday season will be the one that you sit back, relax, and just be thankful for all that has been provided to you.

From my home to yours we wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,

Valerie

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28 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for this SLOW DOWN AND SMELL THE CHRISTMAS TREE post.
    This last week has really tired me out...lots of baking and cooking, 2 parties to get ready for, last minute shopping....whew...
    I have taken the last two days to just rest...I had to....if I keep going full speed ahead, by C'mas Eve, I will be too tired to enjoy our family time together.

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  2. Excellent! I am truly trying to do this.

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  3. All we really have are the memories and the feelings that go along with them. That's what's important. Thank you Fairy Godmother for the reminder! Enjoy your holiday and continued blessings in the New Year.

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  4. Valerie, your post is just wonderful! I wrote one on the weekend as well sharing some of my thoughts on the busyness and taking the time to slow down and enjoy what the season really means. Christmas is all about celebrating the Christ who came to save us. Without Him, there would be no Christmas.

    I had to delete a couple of your posts because you had shared them before; sorry! But I really appreciate you sharing this one. Thank you, and have a lovely day.

    Christmas blessings,
    Sandi

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  5. Beautiful post and important reminders. I love to go to the mall and watch the faces of the kids when they visit Santa. Makes me want to visit Santa to! Magic!

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  6. Thank you for such a great read! This time of year it is so hard to not get overwhelmed and busy with all the parties and festivities of Christmas. Thank you for reminding us to slow down and enjoy it!

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  7. A very lovey post, and from this moment to Christmas I am done....just going to relax and enjoy.. Also helps that I do have everything done too!

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  8. This is just what I needed to read today. I've been upset because my brother can't make it to my house for Christmas, and because my back is hurting and I probably won't be able to cook Christmas dinner or clean the house. But I have so much to be thankful for. My two sons are here for Christmas and they don't care if the house is clean or if we have to go pick up some fast food for Christmas dinner. I am being forced to be still and enjoy each minute and it is wonderful. I can spend my time talking with family on the phone, listening to great Christmas music on Pandora and drinking all the coffee and tea I can hold. There are so many people I know that are sick or missing lost loved ones this Christmas. I can spend more time in prayer for those who are suffering much more than I am. Thank you for reminding me what is really important in this life!

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    Replies
    1. Jane I'm glad I can help. Merry Christmas to you and your special bunch.

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  9. Merry Christmas! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

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  10. I really enjoyed reading this post. I still have all of my decorations that I collected over the years.

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  11. I have to admit for the past couple of years we haven't really done much for Christmas - this year I'm hoping to do a little more, but definitely won't be go over the top.

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  12. Aww you have a really big heart. It's hard to enjoy a holiday when you realize that others aren't so fortunate. We always try to give back but we should do more.

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  13. What a beautiful post. I've noticed my kids remember much more of what we did when they were younger than what we purchased.

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  14. I'm with you, I am totally exhausted even thinking about the holidays. My husband just asked me what we are doing and I said, I'm doing nothing! ☺

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  15. Yes, this is exactly what I plan to do. Slow down this holiday season.

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  16. This is really sweet and it brings a lot of holiday nostalgia. It's good to remind ourselves of all of the good things we have.

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  17. This is such a timely reminder. I plan to do more family activities with the kids during this holiday season.

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  18. I have been trying to tell myself to slow down already. But sometimes it hard with so many things to do.

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  19. This is a great post and story. It is nice to sit back and absorb what is around and it really doesn't matter if you have all the gifts. There are so many out there that don't have what you have and they don't take things for granted. Christmas to me is about family and giving to others. Thanks for sharing your story and thoughts.

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  20. I think we often forget the real benefits of the holidays. No one will remember if the house was decorated but they will remember spending time with family and friends.

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  21. I can't wait to unwind and enjoy the holidays when it gets closer. I have been working so hard, and so much it will be nice to hang out with the family and just enjoy. - jeanine

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  22. YES!!! I'm usually very busy but that's because my mother is and invites everyone to everything. I asked her to slow down this year to let us savor the holidays.

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  23. I don't let the holiday stress me out. Trying to do everything is overwhelming, pick and choose what makes YOU and your loved ones happy.

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  24. Ahhhh yes!!!! We all really do need to take a moment and bow down during the holidays! I have been trying to be. Better about moments ever since my daughter was born.

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  25. The holidays can be so stressful. We all need to take time to slow down and not let ourselves get overwhelmed.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to leave comments. I read each and every one of them.

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