Life is so busy....I can remember when I was young and I would be waiting and waiting for Christmas to come. All the wonderful fun we would have...Gram and Gretchen (my great grandmother, also known a Nana) would be sleeping over on Christmas Eve and Donnie and I could not wait for that night to come. We would be so excited to see them and to sleep on the floor so they could have our beds. I have so many memories of those days that I cherish so dearly. It truly was "the most wonderful time of the year".
I can also remember my mom saying how she could not believe another year had passed and that Christmas was coming fast. Fast??? Was she crazy?? Maybe then, but not now. I find myself saying the same things about the holidays. Thanksgiving was late this year and all of a sudden here we are, 2 weeks before Christmas. The time does fly, at least for us parents...trying to make this the most magical and wonderful Christmas for our kids. This year I still feel that time is flying by and I feel in a bit of a whirlwind, but I have mentally taken a different approach. This year for me it is about giving back, giving thanks for my blessings and spending more time celebrating the season rather than rambling through preparing for the one big day. I took my time decorating the house. In years past I tried to get it all done in the weekend after Christmas, only to still be rushing to finish getting everything just perfect right up until Christmas day. I did go out shopping and am pretty much done. I was able to finish that up quickly this year. I am taking the less and more approach. Less "stuff" more time. I will have a special treat time with each girl this year. We will be doing some extra family things together this year as well (marching in the Holly Springs Christmas Parade and Disney on Ice (shhh it's a surprise!) for big things, but more family movies and game nights). I told the girls I wanted to be sure to give more than we got this year. We have decided to help a couple of local families that would otherwise not have gifts this year. We have done these things in the past with little recognition to the giving. This year there is more emphasis, more knowledge of how truly blessed we are.
As I am prepare my mind for the MRI tomorrow at Duke, I am also reminding myself to look around. Take deep breaths. Acknowledge how truly fortunate I am. I need to be honest and say that I am nervous and I am anxious. I want answers and I still may not get them. The journey is long (for which I am grateful) and instead of worry and concern I am forcing my mind to look at all the wonderful things around me. It's not the easiest thing for me to do...but I think it is helping me. I am going to do my best to lose myself in the season. To rest my worries on He who the season is for. I know deep in my heart that all will be right, in His time, not mine.
So as I try my best to enjoy each day with my family and friends, I encourage you to do the same. Forget the hustle and bustle. Forget the rush. Forget your worries. Remember that these are the times your children will look back on and remember. They will remember how they felt more than the gifts under the tree. They will remember that special touch, that special time where they had all the attention on them.
At least that is what I remember. I can remember Mom, Dad, Donnie & I decorating the tree (with Ivory soap) year after year. I can remember my dad waking up every Christmas morning and saying "Ho, Ho, Ho Merry Christmas" in a deep "Santa" voice. I can remember the big dinners and family time with Nana, Gram, Pop & Mary, Helena & Carlty, Auntie Jo, Bucci and Phyl. I can remember my Gram and Nana spending time with us, playing games after dinner and sleeping over. And I will never forget the feeling of my Gram's hand rubbing my back at the dinner table or her calling me her "little chickadee". This is what I want for my girls to remember when they have their own children. The feeling of Christmas Spirit, how we share it with others, through a kind word, a soft touch and by sharing our own memories.
May God bless us all with memories old and new this Christmas season & may we be filled with joy in all the little moments that could so easily slip by if we are not looking for them.