noun \ˈgra-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\
the state of being grateful : thankfulness
This is the time of year where we get caught up in the decorating, the shopping, the spending, the wrapping, the cards, the holiday letter, the baking, the entertaining….the list goes on. (and on and on…) While I LOVE all of those things in and each of theirselves….put them all together…toss in kids, family, the rest of the world and everyday life – you get a stressful holiday season. I am guilty of wanting things perfect – pefect wrapping paper, perfect bows, the perfect Christmas card etc. etc. This year I am really trying to take in the holiday and appreciate the meaning of it – not the retail of it all. I even bought the prepacked tacky shiny bows to adorn my gifts this year (my sister will appreciate what that really means for me!!!) Instead of MAKING the perfect card, I went with a photo card like the rest of the world – and made the picture creative (less time and check that off the list!). Cookies are baked – all sizes and shapes – no two are alike or perfect, but the dough was delicious! It is taking the PERFECT EXPECTATIONS OCD out of my holiday this year and making it memorable and FUN, not chaotic and stressful.
Along with the holiday details comes the school/church events. My daughter Maddie is in dance at church – this weekend is the big Christmas Show…I have been so bitter about being there every Sunday for practices, late dress rehearsals on a school night and spending pretty much the entire upcoming weekend there that I had forgotten the big picture – how proud I am of her, how precious the smile on her face is and the joy of her confidence and excitement of it all. THAT is what is important….not ME and MY time. Olivia has her school music program next week – again – anxious about getting there early enough to save seats, find a parking spot and hope the camera works. Olivia who hates to perform in front of a crowd – will be up on stage with her classmates belting out Christmas songs and I will love every minute watching her…..and being proud of her.
Family – I think that is the best part of the holidays. Not the gift getting, but the giving and sharing of the holiday spirit. Being able to be with family members when others may not be as lucky. Having a job, a home and a healthy family – that is what matters….not the biggest or bestest gifts. Having gratitude for all the little things that matter….a home when it is below zero, family & friends so you never feel alone, silly things children do to make you laugh instead of the insignificant things that make you crabby.
I encourage everyone this holiday season to stop, breathe and find 3 things everyday you are grateful for……
My three things to be grateful for today are: 1.) Mike 2.) my girls 3.) Joshua in my life