This time of year it's easy to let your calendar overflow with obligations and to-do lists. If it's not shopping for the presents, it's wrapping them. If it's not baking cookies it's running to the store to buy some for a random holiday get-together. If it's not hosting a party, it's attending one. It never ends in December and I know I for one can sometime let it overwhelm me. This past weekend, despite having to work quite a bit, Jared and I were able to carve out some time to just slow things down a little and really enjoy the season for what it is, instead of letting it rush right past us.
Things like going through an old storage bin and pitching some junk we no longer needed. We laughed and enjoyed the memories that were found in that box. It was a lot of Jared and I's college stuff and it was fun to go through it with no where to be, no schedule to stick to, just a time of slowing down and doing something because we felt like it. Plus, it helped us add to our large donation pile we'll be dropping off at GoodWill this evening.
Things like updating a few switch plates in our house. Sometimes the tiniest little things can make a big difference in a home. I've wanted to update ours forever, as they were cheap and many of them were splattered in paint from the previous owners. Sure, it was the most simple, 10-minute project I could do, but I enjoyed it. Nothing else was pressing for my attention and I took the short time to do something that made our home a little prettier.
Things like wrapping presents. Obviously this is a part of the hustle and bustle this time of year, but Jared and I have been wrapping as we buy, instead of putting it all off until the last minute. It gives us time to talk about the person the gift is for and we really think, pray and put love into the gift as we wrap it. That may sound silly, but when you slow down, instead of just rushing through the motions, good conversations happen and eye-opening things can occur.
Things like our Saturday night church service. Ever feel like there is a message being spoken directly to you? Boy, was that me on Saturday evening. I swear, it could have just been me and the pastor there having a conversation because his words resonated with me and I haven't stopped thinking about them for two days now. Sometimes it's hard to make it to church every week during my busy fall/winter work schedule, but when we take the time for it, it's always worth it.
Things like writing in our Christmas cards and sending them out to family and friends. Again, sure this could be a stressful or tedious task if you look at it that way, but I'm choosing not to. I don't need to be the first one to get my cards out, and I don't need them delivered way in advance of Christmas. Heck, if they show up on December 31st, I don't think it would be a big deal. I'll write in them and send them as I go, taking my time and truly trying to soak in the awesomeness of Christmas- not the "I have to do this this and this" mentality of the holidays.
So slow down today. Take an extra few minutes in the morning to relax and reflect; take an extra long shower if you feel like it; sing those Christmas carols at the top of your lungs even if the neighbors can hear you; bake some cookies out of love, not obligation; stay up extra late because the fire is just too cozy to pull yourself away from. Soak in the things that matter this season because if you blink, they'll pass you by.