I was thinking the other day about how before I had kids, I would stand firm about not to doing anything "Christmassy" until December 1.
Now Christmas seems to sneak up on me towards the end of November despite my best efforts to hold it off. Does this happen to anyone else? At the start of November, Christmas still seems so far away. But suddenly at the end of the month it feels like I will never get everything done. Like as soon as I turn the calendar over to December it's pretty well all over. I can't believe we're into December. Happy New Year everyone!
I've spent the last week making to-do lists, writing a family Xmas letter, getting photos developed to make into mini-albums for grandparents, making calendars for parents, buying the ingredients for a bake-off, buying containers and tags to put the baking in, planning our annual ugly holiday sweater party, making a Xmas gift list, writing a letter to Santa, decorating the house, shopping, cutting up school photos to put in cards, and of course writing out Xmas cards. Oh the cards. I feel like we send out a ridiculous number of cards. The result of moving towns every three years and having a large family. And EVERY year I make the same mistake: I buy 36 cards thinking I can pare down our list to under 50. Then I end up having to develop more photos and buy more cards when I run out. I really AM a slow learner!
All this business and December is just beginning! At first I enjoy these activities, but then they start to overwhelm and frustrate me. I start to feel like I'm racing around trying to herd cats.
The holiday season is a pretty good representation of my life in general. I create a lot of busy work for myself. My husband complains that I can never just sit. Upon reflection (prompted by the book Becoming a Vessel God can Use by Donna Partow), I really do seem to run through life aimlessly but at a frenetic pace. The result is that I am pretty much at where I was 3 years ago, even 6 years ago! I might get promotions, or accumulate more stuff but I have the same complaints about not knowing what I should be doing. How I should be passing the time. Donna Paltow has given me a clue and it has reflections of Rick Warren's A Purpose Driven Life, so I've picked that one up to retread over the holidays. The resounding message is that discovering your God-given purpose for your life will drastically simplify your life and give it more meaning. As the Christmas season ramps up, this appeals to me more than ever. I just hope that in my excitement and anxiousness to discover what my purpose might be, I don't get discouraged and frustrated If things aren't immediately clear. And let's face it, they rarely are.