Wednesday, December 2, 2015

December Again

It’s December.

For a lot of people, despite taking time off from work for the holidays, it’s the busiest time of the year. You have to send Christmas cards, making sure you don’t forget anyone – at least not anyone who sent you a card last year. You have to go all over town to buy presents, especially to all those little out-of-the-way shops you never go to any other time of the year. You have to make sure the house is sparkling clean for company. You have to put decorations on every weight-bearing item in- and outside your home. You have to wrap presents. You have to buy at least three times more food than anyone can eat, and it must take hours to prepare and be timed perfectly so it’s all ready at the same time. And, while your guests are sleeping off their over-feasting, you have to clean up all the dishes and pots and pans, pack up all the leftovers (remembering to parcel out some of the choicest bits for people to take home with them).
And besides your own festivities, there are usually myriad parties and events to attend. There’s a party at school (which means you have to make something for little Johnny to take) and a party at the office (which means you have to make something for you or for little Johnny’s daddy to take – perhaps both). There’s your family and his family to keep happy, even when they schedule must-attend events at the same time on the same day. There are Christmas lights to see and Santa to visit and a production of “The Nutcracker” is a must, not to mention Christmas band concerts and school plays and even football playoffs for the high school team. You have to fight through miserable traffic and, sometimes, miserable weather to get it all done. But you have to get it all done, right?  Ummmm, right?


Trust me on this one, you don’t.

Sure there are people counting on you, and you don’t want to disappoint anyone. But it’s really okay if you don’t do everything. You don’t have to be a Martha scrambling to get it all done. It’s okay to be Mary and just bask in the wonder and joy of the One who is the reason we have Christmas in the first place.

You don’t have to have a huge feast. And if you do, you don’t have to do it all yourself. Recruit everyone to help you. And, if nothing else, make sure they help you clean up.

Don’t miss your little ones’ concerts and plays. They’re only little once, and you’ll be surprised how quickly they’re gone.

Spend time with your parents and grandparents if you have them. They won’t be around forever either. But in both cases, you’ll most likely find that they would rather have the gift of you than any other gift you could give them. They will remember good times spent with you much longer than that toy that broke before New Year’s Day or the sweater that was stuffed into the back of a drawer and forgotten.

You don’t have to go to every party, every gathering, every event you’re invited to. Give yourself time to breathe. Take time to enjoy the season. Take time to relax. Whatever time you have off from work should be a time of refreshing, not a beat down. Do the things you want to do, not because you have to, but because you enjoy them. And remember to be thankful.

Have a truly merry Christmas!

DeAnna Julie Dodson has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. She is the author of In Honor Bound, By Love Redeemed and To Grace Surrendered, a trilogy of medieval romances, as well as Letters in the Attic, The Key in the Attic, The Diary in the Attic and The Legacy in the Attic, contemporary mysteries. Her new series of Drew Farthering Mysteries debuted in the Summer of 2013 with Rules of Murder, followed by Death by the Book and Murder at the Mikado in 2014 from Bethany House. Another Drew Farthering Mystery, Dressed for Death, is due out in Spring of 2016. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats.


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