Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas – A wondrous time for the family! Are you starting to feel some of the pressure?
Make sure your are not piling on too much. Let’s work at making this season special, but not to the point where…..you may be missing the point. The people in your home are most important. Take time for them…..and that is what this article is about! 🙂
by Charlotte Siems
Warning: busy times are ahead. ‘Tis the season for extra baking, shopping, wrapping, decorating and entertaining. Starting with the Thanksgiving holiday and ending with New Year’s, the addition of extra activities on top of our regularly scheduled lives can be a mite stressful.
I’m definitely in favor of doing the extras. Holidays mark the passing of the year. Traditions create a sense of belonging and comfort. Children relish those things that “we always do,” and the once-a-year foods and décor call up a sense of wonder and excitement like nothing else.
But here’s a reminder: Don’t forget the small hours.
Don’t lose sight of the people that you live and work with during this busy season. Life happens in the moments. There’s a tendency to get impatient and frustrated with the moments when there’s so much to do.
Changing diapers, wiping noses, taking time to listen to a co-worker or child’s story–we’re in a hurry to give it a slap and a promise so we can get to the important stuff. The reality is that the small hours ARE the important stuff.
All the little moments of life add up to memories, relationships and atmosphere. Our attitude in dealing with the little things affects the entire holiday season (and life year-round).
A certain holiday season stands out in my mind. It was busy as always, running from one activity to the next. The usual gathering of family for Thanksgiving, then before we knew it, Christmas. That year was especially hectic, as several family members were preparing to leave the very next day for a mission trip to Mexico.
I remember a poignant moment, captured on video, when each family opened a certain gift in unison. It was a patchwork quilt, crafted from scraps of Grandma’s dresses. The family had gathered for her funeral a few months earlier. The grown grandchildren examined the quilts eagerly, pointing out dresses they remembered her wearing. (Who says what we wear isn’t noticed by children?)
What I now remember is not so much the quilt, but the fact that we didn’t know it would be my brother-in-law’s last holiday with us. He was killed in a car accident on the return trip from Mexico a few days later, and life changed forever for the family.
I remember having the feeling that I wished we could rewind, like an old VHS tape. But there are no rewinds, no do-overs, no going back and stopping the inevitable after it has begun.
This holiday season, which has already begun, stay aware of the small hours. Beware the tendency to skip reading aloud and tucking in bed. Live life at home intentionally, and keep things simple. Encourage and love by the caring actions of everyday life: cooking meals, brushing hair, doing laundry. Wherever you are, be there.
Childhood and life are fleeting moments, and our lives happen in these small hours.
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Thank you for the reminder. 😉
St. Thomas More Academy said:
And SET BOUNDARIES. Be firm in letting everybody know that you will do this much and no more. I am greatly concerned about the number of homemaking bloggers who do not address this crucial topic. You are not a perpetual motion machine, and there are too many husbands/fathers who simply assume that you are. You run down and sputter out of fuel, and sometimes it takes a major wake-up call to make you realize that you are not immortal and if you are going to be there years down the road, you simply cannot ignore your boundaries anymore. And let’s face it, husbands are not always that good at honoring your personal boundaries on what you can and cannot do; they just aren’t focused on relationships like you are and won’t see them unless you remind them that you have a boundary.
Everybody says, “Be sure to serve and do all the special things.” Then they caution, “Live in the moment.” The two are not always compatible. A fine line is between them, and I can tell you that there are many mothers who stumble into Midnight Mass and promptly fall asleep — it is the only time they’ve sat down in days. This is a problem. This is nothing against anybody, and it is not a reminder to those who already know how to set healthy boundaries, but I didn’t know how, and I have good reason to suspect that many do not know how. This can eventually become dangerous to your health and your sanity.
(By the way, thanks so much for the link you used to have up there to T-Tapp. Because of that link, I purchased the DVD program and it has saved my life — literally. The details are too complicated and long to put forth here, but it had to do with setting limits, etc., and telling people (and the people were my family) “NO”. I want to thank you from the depths of my heart for linking to that, because you’ve made a lifelong difference in my life by that simple act.)
Thank you for your comment. I thought it was very good and very much agree with knowing our own limitations and realizing we are only human and need support, also. I was so glad to hear about how T-Tapp has helped you….my regret is that I didn’t leave it up as a page on the site. I will put it back up. I am beginning to do T-Tapp again, too! It helps me so much…with getting off that extra weight, but also with my posture and the pain in the joints…. Thanks again for your insight!