Monday, December 11, 2006Making Do on Mondays: Don't "Do" Too Much
Hello there everyone. This Monday's practical tips post is a bit different... instead of offering time/money saving tips or suggesting fun crafts and activities, I thought I'd focus in a little bit on avoiding the crazed mentality of this season.
A lot of people already are convicted as much as they can be on staying away from consumerism and frantic shopping for Christmas. But there exists another extreme... those who are so busy trying to make "this" Christmas special that they forget to just let things be.
We've offered lots of ideas on little family traditions for Advent/Christmas and activities to engage your children in the real meaning of the season. But I encourage all of you not to fall in the trap that I found myself in earlier this month: trying so hard to start traditions and do every Advent activity under the sun so I could inculcate the beautiful season's meaning to my kids.
Traditions are wonderful. Good. Efficacious. Even, holy sometimes. But they aren't the end all of what Christmas is about. I ran around like mad trying to find some Advent candles for our advent wreath a couple weeks ago... none were to be found on this island. I wanted to do beeswax candles with my kids on St. Ambrose's feastday... money was too tight. I've been meaning to string some popcorn up around our Christmas tree... haven't found the time. And the thought of all the cookie recipes I want to try out is absolutely overwhelming considering the state of my "more than petite" kitchen. I can't find any of our Christmas music because the house is completely torn apart (we are insulating the walls of our drafty, impossible to heat home right now and boy has that been a challenge on the whole family).
So I was starting to get a little depressed about not being able to make our "perfect" Christmas. Then I wised up and said to my self: "Self, God has absolutely every aspect of your family's welfare in His sight. He knows what we need and He is the source of all happiness." Happiness isn't to be found in the exterior traditions as if they are our god... happiness and meaning are found in the moments of gratitude and interior preparation for our Coming Lord. And so... that's all I can focus on this year. We have not the time, resources or money to do all the things I thought would make a perfect Christmastime. There will be only a couple of humble little gifts under the tree for the kids. But I feel joy despite not "doing" everything I wanted to do.
I am making it a priority to visit the Blessed Tabernacle every day... complete with my travelling circus. Even for just five minutes on the way back from the grocery store. And yeah, it's a pain to unbuckle each kid and bundle them up and shuffle into church... but oh the peace I feel when I see that sanctuary candle flickering... He waits for me.
And with the little traditions I hoped to begin with my family. It must be put off. We did manage to get our Jesse Tree going, and I'm proud of that. But the emotional demands of everything else has to take a back seat this year. This year all I can do, all I can offer... is to wait for Him.
Labels: holiday musings