Ahhh, the Christmas hustle. The shopping, wrapping, planning, spending, baking and cooking. All these activities can be fun, if you don’t shove them into a few days. If you spread out all this joy, perhaps you can enjoy Christmas even more.
Most of us, though, myself included, try to jam the Christmas hustle into one week. We look up and Christmas is at our front door and we still have so much to get done.
When I reminisce about Christmas past, when our children were young, I don’t really remember all the Christmas hustle. I remember the joy, the fun, the love. I remember many Christmas Eves filled with wonderment, excited children and Christmas movies in the background. I remember how excited I would be to see the excitement in their faces. Their sweet little faces.
I don’t necessarily remember begging them to stop fighting, pick up your toys, clean up that mess–well, maybe I remember that a little bit!
I recall how excited I was for Christmas morning, to see the joy in their eyes when they open gifts. I also remember how excited they were to give us our gifts.
What I don’t remember is the gifts. I don’t remember what they received, I just remember the feeling, the laughter and the cheers and the “thanks, mom and dad!”
I know I planned and shopped (no internet shopping back then!) and drove around town until I found all the perfect gifts for each person on my list. Why can’t I remember the gift itself?
“Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.” ― Charles M. Schulz
The reason I can’t remember the actual gift is because Christmas is not about the gift, it is about giving love, giving yourself and spending time with the ones you love. You see, I remember the best part—the smiles, the love, the laughter, the shrill of enjoyment. I remember the feeling. The love. Not the gift or the Christmas hustle.“Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind.” ― Mary Ellen Chase #dedradaviswrites Click To Tweet
I remember my three babies when they were so innocent and believed. They believed in the spirit of Christmas. The love and excitement. (They still believe but I miss their little faces filled with Christmas bliss! I miss the shrills! The Christmas morning practice!!)
Christmas Eve was always a special day. We made cookies and other yummies. Christmas movies played constantly, one after the other, and we stayed in our Christmas pajamas–all day. I always (and still do) make a soup that we all love and serve it up in bread bowls. We would get cleaned up and dressed up, take pictures by the tree and attend church, followed by driving around looking at Christmas lights.
Every Christmas Eve, we let the kids open one gift and I always have a theme of ‘something to keep you warm.’ Warm like gloves, blankets, sheets, hats, scarves, house shoes and robes. I enjoy planning this gift every year. Something simple; something warm.
Christmas traditions are important and fun.
Remembering Christmas past is also important and fun. Brings smiles and possibly a little tear. I thankfully don’t remember the Christmas hustle, but there it is again, year after year!
Looking forward to this Christmas and many more in the future, I need to remember, when I am hustling around town, the gift is not what Christmas is about. Time with loved ones, spending time together enjoying each other—that is the true gift of Christmas.
“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?” ― Bob Hope
I believe we make God happy when we are giving—giving time, love and care to others-not material items.
“What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” ― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
My Christmas wish for you is less time in the stores doing the Christmas hustle and more time with those you love.
Love and blessings~dd