Hello my friends!
I hope and pray that you’re having a wonderful holiday season!
Did you just throw up in your mouth? Cause I did.
Let’s talk about it, shall we?
When I asked the question above, how did you answer it? Did it bring you JOY because you really ARE having a great holiday? Did you sweat a little because you have SO MUCH TO DO still (and it’s literally only December 5 LOL)? Did you get a little weepy because the holidays are gosh darn hard and you’d rather run and hide in a picturesque cabin whilst watching all the Christmas Hallmark movies and not emerge until January 1?
Yeah, all the above for me too.
For some reason, this year has already been harder than most. Erg. Because…. All the things. All the stuff. All the food. All the memories. All the, all the, all the…..
It’s not a shocker that this time of year is the hardest for:
those who have an addiction
those who have lost a loved one
those who have kids but can’t take care of them
those who are stressed because of finances
those who ________________ (you fill in the blank)
And there are some that can say they battle with “all of the above”.
Did you know that Christmas is the time of year where the most children enter the foster care system? More than any other time of year (summertime comes in second). One doesn’t have to think too hard to wonder why. The holidays are such a wonderful time of year for traditions, for family time, for giving to others… But for some, it’s the total opposite. They are a reminder of all the things. And if you’ve barely kept your head above water all year, it’s not hard to let all the things bury you under.
But you can help.
First, quiet your heart and ask, “Heart, what brings you joy?” Write those things down. If decorating the tree doesn’t bring you joy, then don’t do it. If spending time as a family, just playing games, brings you joy, then do it. Schedule it, and make it happen. Cause when your heart is full by doing the things that bring you joy, you’re least likely to make rash decisions or flip a lid because you missed seeing the reindeer at Beaver Bark and so you beat yourself up that your kids will be scarred forevermore.
Do what brings you joy.
Secondly, look around your community. How can you (and your family) be a helping hand to someone who may be drowning? Can you bring coats to the Gospel Mission? Can you make Christmas goodies and bring them to someone standing on the corner? Can you Google your local foster care agencies and find out how you can help this Christmas?
Watch and listen. Because the signs are all around us that people aren’t doing great.
When my boys were little, I remember asking an older, wiser woman the question, “How do I get my kids to be grateful for what they have?” Her answer? “Oh sweetie, you just teach them how to give.”
There it is.
The act of giving.
And that’s what this Christmas season is all about.