A wise friend came to visit yesterday. No matter how brief her visits are, she is such a genuine person that she always leave me feeling a little better about myself and about the world.
Yesterday, we were talking of all the stuff that goes into Christmas and Christmas preparation. I pointed to the decorations which still littered our living room floor and laughingly told her that we had begun to refer to it as Christmas vomit since it looked like someone had just thrown it there and we weren’t sure exactly how to approach it but knew it needed to be cleaned up somehow.
Fortunately, my friend understands the messes we face in life – whether they litter our living room floor or litter our hearts and minds – and she never judges. She does smile and offer advice in a tender way that doesn’t seem like she’s offering advice at all, and yesterday’s impromptu visit was no different.
We laughed about holiday stress, Christmas cards that I haven’t gotten too (AGAIN this year although I swore I would!), cookies Kaleb and I had baked, and the one sad string of lights George had thrown up outside our front door. My friend, having raised children of her own, understood and laughed along with me.
And then she said something which had me thinking all day. She said she was going to work to do all the Christmas stuff she could before this weekend, and then take the rest of the time before Christmas to prepare herself for the reason for the season. No matter how much more she felt she had to do, she would put it all aside and concentrate on preparing her body, mind, and soul for the birth of our Lord. The Christmas stuff would be set aside for the Christmas good – faith, hope, love, and charity.
Although I am not quite as caught up as she is and I know ignoring some projects will just add to my stress, I am going to prioritize what absolutely must get done and then do those things first. Christmas this year falls on Wednesday so I will stop all Christmas stuff by the Wednesday before and give my children and myself the gift of a peaceful preparation, a welcoming more worthy of our Lord by putting away all the meaningless stuff we associate with Christmas and concentrating on giving and receiving those eternal gifts of faith, hope, love, and charity.
How will you prepare for Christmas?