It’s that time of year when many of us feel particularly stressed! Something about the holiday season that presses in upon us in ways nothing else can – or does!
Why should something as beautiful as the celebration of our Lord’s birth be the cause of so much angst in so many lives around the world. I understand it for women living in war-torn zones; especially those subsisting in refugee camps barely protected from the elements.
But what of us who live in the comfort of warm homes in quiet towns and villages joyfully celebrating the season we call “peace on earth, good will to men (and women)”? What in the world do we have to be stressed about? And if so, why don’t we do something about it?
Questions that perplex are often the simplest to answer; yet us humans make them more difficult than need be. We flail about searching for reasons that satisfy when the answer is simply to change how we think. Then what we do!
The season of peace on earth has been so commercialized that I hardly recognize it as the opportunity to gratefully celebrate one of PAPA God’s 2 greatest miracles. . . the incarnation of His Son who is Christ the Lord.
It has become the symbol for making money while the year lasts, beginning with Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and only God knows what other day of the week we are urged to buy – buy – buy! We are told to make a list (let alone check it twice) and then hurry about looking for just the right gift for a person we barely know who has magically appeared on the relative list – although we haven’t a clue how that happened!
Just writing this creates a sense of anxiety in my gut. How about you? Does it shake and rattle your peace?
The truth is, we can achieve a level of peace in the midst of the hustle and bustle so now identified with the Merry Christmas and Happy New Year season! We can (and must) determine to keep it simple even though the list is long and the days dwindle down to a precious few. . .
Here’s some ideas I have for keepin’ it simple and finding peace in the season of joy:
- Make a list, but keep it to just those closest to you by biological birth and the birth of deep relationships. Send an e-greeting or simple card to all others. They’ll hardly recognize the change!
- For those we buy gifts for; ask them what gift card they would most like to have. Then set out to purchase those in the most expeditious manner possible. . . online if you’re on the internet. Simple, easy and a piece of delicious cake! I find this is much appreciated by the recipient and a joy for me because I know I’ve given the gift they want. . . not what I think they ought have!
- Set aside at least an hour each day to be grateful for the “reason for the season”. Sit quietly with a favorite beverage and honor PAPA by reflecting on how blessed we are for the incarnation of the birth of the babe in a manger. I find the soft carols reflective of our faith the perfect backdrop to this time of quiet rest and relaxation.
- Say “NO”. No to the myriad invitations we get to go here, there and yonder. Do only what is reasonable and realistic. Send kind regrets and thanks; but a firm “no” as well!
- Huddle with loved ones! Need I say more? I think not!
- Give – of yourself. It’s too easy to open our purses and give our monetary resources or goodies from the kitchen. Much more difficult to give of ourselves in other ways. Be genuine and authentic in our actions with others; using the season as an opportunity to grow comfortable doing so all year long.
- Savor every waking moment of the season. Breath in thankfulness and exhale gratitude. Give the gift of thankfulness to those meaning the most to you. Graciously accept the gift of gratitude from those who appreciate you for just being you!
- Embrace every feeling and emotion brought to the surface because of the season. They arise for a reason. We may not recognize the reason, but embracing them helps us accept that they belong and make us more authentically ourselves. Mysteriously, embracing them reduces their power over us and eliminates the angst they intend to bring!
Okay, that’s it. My list of things to consider for keepin’ it simple when the world tells us to rush along on a hectic journey called holiday season. I’m sure you have other ways to skip the commercial bastardation of Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
If not, perhaps one or more of mine will relieve you of pressure and anxiety – bringing peace and comfort as it’s meant to be!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, CEO & Visionary Partner
Champion of Ordinarily Extraordinary Women of the World
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Eriching Women in Business Worldwide
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