by Christina Hubbard
It’s been said one shouldn’t write while in process. I don’t write like that. To me, writing is how I learn who I am becoming. Today that is someone who wants to be different this Christmas.
In recent years, I’ve struggled to enjoy the holidays. A mixed cocktail of stress, anxiety, sadness, and guilt churns within:
Stress for all the things I should be doing.
Anxiety about all the people I can’t control.
Sadness for losing all my previous joy.
Guilt because I felt all of the above.
This Christmas? I want to be different.
I don’t want to hate myself for not getting the perfect gift. I don’t want to count the hours until everyone leaves. I certainly don’t want to be crying over what isn’t. No, I DO NOT want the shame because I feel all the feels.
That way of doing Christmas is exhausting. It’s reactive. It’s full of fear and I don’t want. It’s all about me.
I want this Christmas to be different. I want me to be different. I want love, joy, and peace.Tweet This
This Christmas? I will exult in messes. I will cover my counters with flour and brown sugar and dip my fingers in and lick it off. I will not stress when we forget to take Christmas trash to the street on pickup day. I will let my sink overflow with crusty dishes.
I will say thank you. To my mom who sweeps my floors three times a day to be helpful. To everyone who is up in my space because they are here in my home. It is an honor to have them because they could be somewhere else. They are with me. For that, I an grateful.
I will be present. I will listen. I will play games and try my best to hear out my kids’ long-winded stories. I will bite my tongue when I want to correct and one-up.
This Christmas I will invite. I will stop worrying about me. I will use the gift of empathy God has given me to help others feel welcome and wanted. I will ask them if they want to join us as we read, cook, or go outside because we’re all going stir-crazy!
I will not judge people with screens. I will advocate for screen-free time, but I will not silently stew and throw dagger-eyes at the person playing Candy Crush in the corner. I will not give precious brain space to grudges. I will forgive all the IPADs and smartphones.
I will forgive dumb statements. I will not hold onto the past. I will use that empathy superpower to get curious. Questions and mercy will be my ammo of love.
This Christmas I will find joy in simple things: candles, quiet, a clean counter once or twice, and a thriving, healthy, off-the-wall family.
I will find wonder in the mystery of not having it all together. I will trust that the God of the universe is making all things new through my triumphs and foibles. I will rest in the knowledge I am loved, and therefore, I can spoon it out in great big dollops!
I will pay attention to my feelings and desires. When things don’t go my way, I will breathe deeply. When I am hurt, I will be honest and expressive. When I am bursting with joy, I will be Christmas confetti all over the room.
This Christmas I will get away with God whenever I can. I will give Him the most sacred space of my heart. I will rest. I will worship. I will give Him my whole heart, the person I am becoming.
There may be stress for you this Christmas. A twinge of anxiety may crop up. A deluge of sadness may take you down. Guilt or shame may rob you blind.
But it’s not forever. It’s a moment. You are capable of learning. You are growing. You are becoming.
This Christmas will be different.
Disclosure: This post was inspired by Five Minute Friday, but I’m a rulebreaker this time because I didn’t write this post in five minutes.