Where the Heck is the Advent Wreath?
On Sunday, after hitting my head on a pipe in the storage room in my rush to go to a Christmas party, I found myself shouting under my breath, “Where the *#%*#* is the advent wreath?” I decided today that I must change more this year than just actually lighting the candles each week with my kids. When my
silent night was filled with endless thoughts of my to-do list that made me
unable to sleep, I decided to step back and reflect on this common predicament.
I am not talking about Skipping Christmas as the Kranks tried so hard to do in John Grisham’s delightful book made into a movie. I decided this is the year I am going to really celebrate my faith and enjoy the holidays. I will say “No” to some things so that I can say “Yes” to the people that matter the most.
So today, I said “no” to a professional opportunity I’d really like to pursue this month. And I called to change my RSVP to “no” for a few of the parties. And last week I said “No, we’ll have to miss this one,” to my daughter about taking her to her activity that night, as I feverishly prepared for her birthday party the next day. A few weeks ago, a fellow PTA leader and I encouraged another mom who was about to take on another large task to, “Just say, no.”
If the Christmas season brings a sense of dread instead of joy to our hearts, it is up to us to make a change. How can we expect ourselves to feel merry when we have three times as many things to do this month? Our jobs and household tasks don’t go away because the Christmas tree needs to go up and the cards need to go out.
A friend said that one year, she was so exhausted when it came time to cook the Christmas meal that her husband went and bought burgers to serve on the beautiful china. This has become their favorite family tradition. One of my personal favorites is the bubble bath I started taking in the afternoon after the gifts are all unwrapped. I put out heavy appetizers for everyone to graze on all day and disappear to my haven of peace.
As the Christmas rush ramps up exponentially, let’s be intentional people who say “Yes” to what’s most important. It is up to us to break out of the hype and give ourselves the freedom to say no in order to preserve our sanity with restful, silent nights and happier days. We can also look for ways to serve others who are actually in need rather than indulging every material want.
It is inevitable that I will be busier this month, but when I do find my advent wreath, I will actually be able to smile as I light it with my family.