Not only is there Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Day, New Years Eve and Day, and Valentine's Day, but mixed in is both of my kids' birthdays, both my husband and I's parents' wedding anniversaries, as well as my mother-in-law's birthday. There is usually a company holiday party on top of that, as well as a Super Bowl party (if only the Ravens could get their act together). By the time I have cleaned up one party it is time to set up for the next, and things have been known to get a little bit stressful. Don't worry, just about the time we have eaten all of the Halloween candy we'll have Valentine's candy to replenish, which should hold us over until Easter.
With houses to clean, pies to bake, sides to plan, plus trying to remember to take the turkey out of the freezer in time for it to thaw (yes, do that today), this can be an overwhelming time of year. We run from store to store trying to get some shopping done, then run around our house trying to find enough wrapping paper to handle all of the presents. Don't forget that birthday presents need birthday paper and Christmas presents need Christmas paper. The alternative is just not acceptable. We run around trying to remember everything on our to-do list, but more often than not we forget to do the most important piece;
We forget to breathe.
I urge you to take a moment during this week to actually stop, look around, and be grateful for what you see. Sometimes it's messy, sometimes it's difficult, but I imagine you have so much to be grateful for. As we get closer to Christmas, take a moment to actually watch the candlelight dance in your children's eyes. Stop and actually watch that. Sit and curl up on the couch and watch How The Grinch Stole Christmas or White Christmas. If you have never seen it, one of my absolute favorite movies is Holiday Inn, where the song "White Christmas" first comes from.
Find peace in those moments. The dishes will wait. The sweeping will wait. Just breathe and enjoy the holidays and what they mean. Thanksgiving is an opportunity to be grateful for our family, our home, the fact that we have food on the table and a friend to smile with. Christmas is when our long-prophesied Messiah comes. Don't let the need to fold the napkins take away from what you are folding them for.
Forget the wrapping paper, my readers, Jesus is coming. Find your peace in knowing that.
Make the effort to set a beautiful Thanksgiving table this week. All of those details, down to the folded napkins, are still important. Just remember that stressing out over the turkey won't make it bake any faster. They say that a watched pot never boils, so put on the potatoes for mashing but then pour yourself a glass of wine and go hug someone. Chat with your family and friends, especially those who you don't see as often as you like. Those potatoes will still cook, and you've found a better use for your time.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
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