Today was Eddie's only day off this entire week before Christmas (you gotta love retail....), so we headed out early to finish up some shopping. It wasn't so bad - no, really! It wasn't too bad. But, it's pretty obvious that people are beginning to get stressed as the holiday bears down on us. And, for some odd reason, it seems that people's driving skills seem to diminish as they get more stressed......
But, we survived it - and in one piece, too! We are just about done with the whole shopping thing for this year. There are only a few more presents to be wrapped and I got a really good start on the baking/candy making yesterday. The cards are done; the groceries bought; the menu planned; everyone invited. All in all, we are in pretty good shape!
In fact, I was feeling "on top" of it enough to actually check out some new books at the library. Yes, I have a Kindle - and I love it. But, I spied a couple of Christmas themed books on a spinner when I was returning some books that were due today....I could not resist.
As we slide towards the weekend, I find myself breathing a bit easier. In fact, I am feeling excited and eager for the holiday to arrive. In years past, I have gotten so involved in the preparations that the actual holiday was almost anticlimactic. It seemed I would work and plan, and plan and work, until I couldn't enjoy the actual celebration of Christmas. This year, I have made a serious effort not to do that.
The trimmings are less this year - I do not have a tree in every single room and the herd of lighted deer and large trees wrapped in lights are conspicuously missing out in the front yard. I have not done one single Christmas craft. I have not staged and photographed every angle of my house to post here. (There is plenty of that already out there and I seriously doubt anyone will miss seeing a home tour post on Janie's Porch this year.)
Instead, this year, I have chosen to focus on what is in my heart for Christmas. If my heart is not right, then no celebration - or present - will be big enough to fill it and make it right.
Christmas truly is in the heart.
Every single day, I have been listening to this song by Steven Curtis Chapman.....it is such a beautiful reminder about the true meaning of Christmas. It's been my theme song for this holiday season....it's loaded on my phone and on my computer so that it's very accessible. Today, I am so thankful for the message in this song.......for the way it lifts my spirits, brings back memories of when I had two little blonde-headed boys up before dawn.....and for it's powerful ability to remind me to stay focused.
(I've been a fan of Steven Curtis Chapman for many years. My kiddos just about wore out his cassette tapes when they were little! After all these years, and all he and his family have experienced, he still rings true on the Message. If you're not familiar with him, and his family's story, I urge you to check him out HERE.)
Preparing the heart for Christmas....