5 Things I Learned This Christmas

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

(1) It's good to start early. In 2012, I was so insistent that Christmas come after Thanksgiving, that I did nothing to prepare for Christmas until after Thanksgiving. Big mistake. I felt rushed and overwhelmed. This year, I started waaaaay before Thanksgiving, buying gifts here and there throughout the year. I also ordered our Christmas cards before Halloween. I know, I hate me, too! But there was a coupon, and I wanted to get it done . . . and it was awesome. Early is good.

(2) It's good to use technology. Speaking of Christmas cards, I used my computer to create address labels this year. I used to turn my nose up at such impersonality - check that as one more lesson learned.  Even starting from scratch, the labels took me less time than handwriting all the addresses. (I promise, typing was THE best class I took in high school!) Even better, the labels are ready and waiting for next year.

(3) It's good to take a break. I don't know how I ever blogged over Christmas before. Well, I do - it was fluff, not quality. This year I'm so glad that I decided to take a technology break and focus on my family during this busy time. We have traveled, had fun, been sick, celebrated a wedding, and a birthday. I'm glad I didn't have a computer in my lap during all that.

(4) It's good say no. Would you believe that we somehow ended up with six Advent calendars in our house this season? Well-meaning friends, teachers, relatives (and me) inundated us. I actually said "no" to one to begin with, but still . . . five was four too many. I really wanted to have a meaningful Jesus-centered countdown with the boys, but that many calendars left us constantly playing catch up. Two were completely abandoned midstream, and the only one the boys could be depended on to maintain was the one with chocolate. Go figure.

(5) It's good to say yes. I can think of at least two activities that I almost said no to (because there is just so much) that turned out to be worthwhile and memorable - for me and the kids. Finding the balance between the need to cocoon and the joy of socializing that comes with this time of year is always tricky. Sometimes I say yes or no to the wrong things. That's okay. Because in 2013 I learned that the balance never really comes. It's the teetering back and forth, and enjoying the ride, that makes life a lot of fun. 


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