If you are like me, at this time of year you are up to your eyeballs in Christmas Cards, baking, crafts, shopping, wrapping, decorating....need I go on? This Christmas season is one of extreme busy "ness". I'm not even sure if that's a real word. So many of us get caught up in finding the perfect gift, making sure everyone in your "circle" of friends and aquaintances gets recognized, and that our kids have special memories to keep. (ie. cookies for Santa, carrots for the reindeer, the right outfit for Christmas Eve and the list goes on and on) So how do we find significance amongst all the commotion? I have three suggesions (and am trying to impliment them in my own life as well!)
1. Slow Down.
Slow down refers to taking a good hard look at all the Christmas activities that are on your calendar this year and decide what is essential to the season and what isn't. This might mean missing out on a few get-togethers and Christmas celebrations, but it also means missing out on the hustle and bustle that goes along with them. I'm talking about the special outfits that you might need to buy, hostess gifts, food and drink etc... Figure out which celebrations are really essential to you Christmas season and enjoy those. The other festivities that feel like more work than they are worth? Give them a miss this year! Stay home, relax, spend time with your family in a more laid back kind of way.
Simplify. There are many ways to simplify your Christmas season. Rather than exchanging gifts with an exhaustive list of friends and familiy, consider sharing the gift of time. Better yet, make that time after the hectic season of Christmas has passed. The vast majority of adults and children in our lives, don't really NEED anything for Christmas. With a much shorter Christmas list we are able to cut back on our researching, shopping, wrapping, transporting gifts and all of that messy wrapping paper afterwards. I'm not suggesting we be scrooge's this Christmas, but that we eliminate those gifts that we are buying just for the sake of buying and making our gift giving more meaningful. In the home preparation of this festive season, rather than baking dozens of different treats, pick on or two of your family's favorites and just make those. We will be more able to find the significance of the season when we aren't trying to keep track of the dozens of tasks we still have yet to do. If you are unable to simplify and cut back in these areas, at least create a master list of what is yet to be done to help you stay on track. Prioritize that list and work on the most important items first and if you do run out of time to get everything done, hopefully your stress level will be relieved.
Share. I've already mentioned sharing the gift of time rather than gifts this season. Why not focus on those in our community and beyond that really don't have the opportunity to celebrate Christmas with food, festivities and friends. Whether you spend some time distributing gifts, or serving at a community Christmas event, try to reach beyond your regular circle of family and friends and help those less fortunate have a memorable Christmas season. This will definately make the significance of the season easier to find.
On behalf of the Town of Beaumont FCSS Staff: