“It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.” – W.T. Ellis
This is traditionally the time of year we spend STRESSED with gifts to buy, decorations to find and put up, travel plans to make, or houses to clean and get ready for guests, plus food to buy, plus keeping up with our regular activities, plus pressure provided by Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and more —– it’s enough to make anyone say, “BAH, HUMBUG!”
I have a small business, and of course, I love getting sales, but I want to take a minute or two to urge you to DE-STRESS. Take a deep breath and refuse to be pushed this holiday season.
“A Christmas candle is a lovely thing; It makes no noise at all, But softly gives itself away; While quite unselfish, it grows small.” Eva K. Logue
It seems nuts for me to say, but I want you to ENJOY the season. If it makes you happier, forget rushing around. Tell your family and friends that you’d like to start a new tradition – NOT getting or receiving gifts this year.
“From Home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another. The warmth and joy of Christmas, brings us closer to each other.” – Emily Matthews
Christmas has become better and better for me, personally, since I quit pushing myself to find the perfect gift for everyone on my list. If we’re giving presents, I’m on the lookout for things all year long. When I come across something I think someone on my list would like, I buy it, storing it away for the Christmas season. That’s easier on my finances, too, with the spending spread out throughout the whole year.
“A little smile, a word of cheer, A bit of love from someone near, A little gift from one held dear, Best wishes for the coming year… These make a Merry Christmas!” John Greenleaf Whittier
I try to find personalized gifts that people will treasure. For example, I’ve been pathologically afraid of dentists my whole life. We found a dental hygienist who is truly compassionate and kind. I can now go to the dentist twice a year without getting ill and not being able to sleep beforehand! I found a wonderful stuffed bear, dressed in a dental outfit, with a personalized name badge by Debbie Garrett. My appointment with my hygienist is December 12th, and I think she’ll love both the cute bear who can live in her office, plus the wholehearted appreciation of her manner from a grateful patient. :0)
“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” Norman Vincent Peale
One of the big things for me at Christmas now is reaching out to the people who are important to me. I send handmade cards, made by me or other artists on my website – taking the time to personalize each “Christmas Letter,” and then follow up with another letter after I hear from each person. If I don’t hear from each one, I take time each day to call and catch up. I should do it more often than once a year, but at least they know I care.
“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.” – Burton Hillis
Christmas is now more about whether my son will come home for Christmas or not. This year, my son WILL come home, so I’m like a kid, checking off the days, wondering how long he can stay. He’s going to Shanghai for 9 months or so in 2012, so I’m going to try to fill my hugs bucket to the brim before he goes. :0)
This basket says, ”When it snows, you have two choices: Shovel or make snow angels.” The other side says, “Kindness is like snow – It beautifies everything it covers.” Authors of both quotes are unknown.
My message is that you should do whatever brings you joy. If your heart soars when you make a big deal of decorating your home, buying presents, food, and making plans, then enjoy every minute of it. If this is only a huge chore you basically dread – TELL your family and friends. They’ll understand. Make this a holiday you love by shaping it to your needs.
“Let the spirit of love gently fill our hearts and homes. In this loveliest of seasons may you find many reasons for happiness.” – Author Unknown