When the children were young, I was overwhelmed. As Mom, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Aunt, Employer, Supplier, Neighbor, and Friend, I finally learned to say, “no, thank you” to all but essentials.
I started shopping in June and finished by early November. I paid cash, easier because I spread the outlay over five months. I refused to set foot in the mall after mid-November unless coerced into seeing decorations outside of Neiman-Marcus. My Christmas cards were addressed before the turkey went into the oven for Thanksgiving, and they dropped in the mail box on December 1st.
It took five years to devise this plan, which evolved when I realized this most holy and supposedly peaceful time had become total carnage. The people whose holidays I enhanced enjoyed themselves immensely, but I reached mid-December looking as if I had fallen off of the sleigh en route without a parachute.
It’s been sixteen years since I instituted my holiday regime. No one’s been deprived and everyone’s received the gift of my good cheer. Not only did I owe those around me a more civilized approach to the season, I owed it to me.
Restraint was the gift I gave myself. And it’s an especially important gift for those of us on whom so many rely. We deserve a little Christmas joy, too. But more especially, we need to remember that the season is about the peace of Christ.
Embrace His grace.