Holiday Spirit

*Gingerbread house I appliqued for my baby girl

This year I've taken to crafting, primarily because that's what most of my stay-at-home-mom friends are doing. It started as something cute to do, then turned into a money-saving option for upcoming Christmas gifts, and now has overtaken my living room couch with a number of projects looming over my To Do list. Suddenly the holidays have become a goal, not an event. Right now I'm not dreaming of present possibilities, wishing for a white Christmas, or simply sitting back and being thankful for all the fun, family, food and so many more things that the holidays promise. My goal is to get my presents bought/made and wrapped a week ago.  And instead of joy, I feel stress.

Stress? That's not what the holidays are about! Where did I go wrong? From this point forward, everything changes.

1. Presents are no longer items on my To Do list; they are opportunities to bless others.
2. The bottom line changes from how much to spend on each gift to how much love I can sincerely pour from my  heart into each present.
3. If it's not perfect, it's perfect. I must keep reminding myself that perfection is not necessary or realistic.
4. I'm not setting any more dates that I have to get something done by; I do what I can, when I can, and most important, I live in the moment.
5. This is my daughter's first Christmas, and even though she may not remember it, I want it to be as memorable as possible. I refuse to get too old to remember the little things that made the holidays special and that I looked forward to each December first.

Since we were out of town for Thanksgiving weekend, we haven't decorated yet. This weekend our holiday begins with cutting down our own tree. From there we break out the rubbermaid boxes and adorn the house in red and gold. And, as Christmas day approaches, we will consume ourselves with traditions such as making an ornament to commemorate the year and will continue with going to as many Christmas parties as possible and remembering the true Reason for the festivities.

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