Today is a beautiful day! It’s my Christmas Friday.
Every year, usually about a week before Christmas, I take a half day of vacation time on a Friday. And I go shopping, all by myself. I buy things for others and things for myself.
It’s one of my favorite days of the whole year. People always laugh at me when I tell them that. And yes, it is silly. I’m a silly, simple person.
But if you will indulge me, I’d like to extend my silly Christmas Friday tradition into a larger thought. You see, Christmas Friday is fun because I want to do it. If it was a task it would be miserable [the parking, the crowds, the cold…]. I believe that, as much as possible and without being self-serving, Christmas should be a season of “want to” and not “have to.”
Instead of getting pulled in 50 different directions of what you “have” to do, what about doing five things with your whole heart? Or even one thing. Doing it because it’s something you want to do.
It’s a simple change of phrase, but it impacts things a lot.
I have to bake Christmas cookies = 10 different varieties and days in the kitchen. I want to bake Christmas cookies = a few special treats and good memories in the kitchen with your kids [or by yourself].
I have to get presents for everyone = stress and over spending. I want to give meaningful gifts and be a grateful recipient [even when I don’t have anything to give in return] removes the guilt. And maybe removes the obligation for that second cousin who keeps sending you socks…
I have to go to church to observe Advent = yawning, checking the watch and missing the point. I want to go to church to celebrate Christ = joy and peace.
This is a little on the preachy side for me, but it’s something I try [emphasis on try] to do all year round. It’s not so much about being less busy. It’s more about embracing what I am doing and not feeling guilty about what I don’t do.
Mint Oreos are as good or better than your homemade treats. Cheap holiday bags conceal the gift just as well as fancy wrapping. And we have two pine trees in our backyard your kids can decorate if you getting a tree isn’t your thing this year. Say no to the have to. Embrace the want to. Merry Christmas Friday!