Now that the turkey has been carved, the halls can be decked. Those of you who know me, may know that I am a somewhat of a Scrooge around the holidays. I don’t remember when I started to fall into this mindset, but I am desperately trying to claw my way out of the bah humbug mood I have been in for the past several years.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas. I was brought up in a loving, Christian home where we celebrated the birth of Jesus as the true meaning of the season. I adore that part of the holiday season traditions. The part I do not adore, though, is the hustle and bustle that comes along with getting ready for the holiday festivities.
It seems like there is always so much to do around this time of year. I have anxiety and trying to get all of the planning, buying, decorating, cooking, cleaning and traveling done right before the new year makes my anxiety skyrocket. There is so much to do before Jan. 1 creeps up on us, and that uneasy feeling makes it hard for me to just relax and enjoy all of the “extra things” this time of year brings.
This year, I made it a point to decorate for Halloween. The day after Halloween, I made it a point to start putting my Christmas decorations up. That’s right. This Ebenezer Scrooge had her Christmas tree up before Thanksgiving. I have been slowly, but surely, decking my halls. I started this for two reasons. One, is because I wanted to get everything done in time so I wouldn’t be rushed to get it all done after Thanksgiving. That leads me to point two. I wanted to have it done so I could relax and enjoy it. I get so frustrated with all the small details that go into making Christmas special that I get annoyed with, and ultimately, forget what it is I’m actually trying to enjoy– the reason for the season.
This year, I have told myself that I am not going to let the hustle and bustle of the season rob me of my happiness. I am going to be fully prepared to enjoy time with my family and loved ones.
After all, the decorations and frilly things are not what’s important. Celebrating the gift that the birth of Jesus brought us is the most important thing to me and I have full intentions of putting my focus on that this Christmas.
I am looking forward to spending quality time with my family and getting to see family members that are making the trek to Ider.
I am looking forward to slowing down and not letting the hustle and bustle of the season cloud my view of all the many people and things I have been blessed with.
I am going to embrace all things Christmas while keeping the savior’s birth in the center of it all.
If there is a Scrooge reading this, just know that I have been there, and despising the exterior factors of the season only robs you of enjoying the interior factor– Jesus.
If you are like me and get anxious, just stop for a minute, take a deep breath, and know that it doesn’t have to be stressful and dreadful. You are in control of your joy, so don’t let the small things rob you of it. I hope you all, like me, are preparing to enjoy what really can be the most wonderful time of year– if you let it.
— Kayla Beaty is the managing editor of the Times-Journal. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.