Welcome back, friend.
If you missed yesterday’s post, we’re mixing it up here on the blog for the next few weeks. We’re rediscovering Christmas as we slow things down, dig a little deeper, and soak up the simple of the season. We’ll be open and honest as we discuss and share. And, we’ll even have some fun together as we prepare our hearts and live with hope.
I look forward to sharing my days of this season with you.
Two questions we’re answering today:
1. What do you enjoy most about Christmas and the season that’s upon us?
2. What do you enjoy the least?
I’ll answer first.
What I enjoy most is celebrating the birth of Jesus with my family and friends. We have certain traditions and days I look forward to. Each year we celebrate with my side of the family on December 23, with my friend Tina and her family on Christmas Eve, we’re home on Christmas day (oftentimes in our p.j.’s), and then with Bill’s side of the family on a day near Christmas. I wait all year long for these special celebrations.
What I enjoy least is the expectation I tend to put on myself. I have a tendency to add extra stress and strain, thinking I have to have everything “perfect” to make it a perfect Christmas.
Now it’s your turn.
What do you enjoy the most and the least? It’s okay if you don’t answer publicly in the comments below, but please answer these two question for yourself. (There is a point to them. Bear with me.) There are no right or wrong answers. Yours and mine are likely different, and they reveal what’s important to you and me. Take a few minutes to answer.
Today we’re giving ourselves permission to embrace what we enjoy most about Christmas and if possible, let go of what we enjoy least.
If you enjoy baking, then bake to your heart’s content. If it’s helping at a soup kitchen during the holidays, then do just that. Maybe you enjoy decorating your home to the point your decor could have it’s own board on Pinterest. If so, spend your time doing that. As much as possible, do what you enjoy the most. Do that activity that brings you joy.
Based on my answer, I’ll put more time and effort in the celebrations with my family and friends.
Now, for the flip-side. Whatever your answer was to what you enjoy the least, can you let go of it? Can you forget about it or get creative with it this year? If you detest shopping, can you order online or have someone else do it for you? If you don’t enjoy cooking the annual Christmas meal, can you order out instead? Or if the many Christmas gatherings are too much for you, can you chose just a couple to attend instead of them all?
I’ll gladly let go of the unnecessary stress I put on myself. Praying I can do that this year.
When we embrace what we enjoy and let go of what we don’t, we find a lift in our step and a smile on our face.
Our disposition becomes brighter and our joy deeper. We rediscover the beauty of the season.
It’s a simple concept, but if you’re like me, sometimes we fall into the trap we need to do it all. Sometimes we just need to give ourselves permission to let go of what we enjoy least.
I invite you back tomorrow. In the meantime, think of your funniest or most crazy Christmas memory. We’ll have some fun with this tomorrow!
Linking up with Holly and Angela.
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Two great questions, Julie. I enjoy the time with my family the most. I am holding near and dear the memories we make as one day our family may not have everyone present. Shopping is what I enjoy the least as I do not like the crowds. I enjoy looking for gifts that express my heart towards the person and for that reason, I don’t shop online as much as I probably could. May you and yours enjoy rediscovering the beauty of Christmas anew!
Hi Joanne! Yes, I’m with you on holding near and dear the memories with family. They are precious times! Thanks for sharing your answers. I pray these questions helped you in some small way this season! Glad you’re here!
Great questions Julie. I like what you are doing/exploring. What I like most…celebrating Jesus of course. Also, the decorations! What I like less…until a few years ago, we were go, go, go. Now we rest, rest, rest. so I can’t say there’s much I don’t like personally, but in the world, the excessive consumerism and “HAPPY HOLIDAYS” really drives me batty. 🙂
What great answers, Nicki! Good for you and your family for slowing down and resting during this season. That’s wonderful! Such a great example for us all. Thanks for sharing and for stopping in!
Thoughts are swirling, but I’m not sure I have the final answer to your questions. But here are a few thoughts: gathering to bake, decorate, eat, and give sugar cookies is a fun one. In fact, the kids and I were discussing when we could have their friends over to do just this. What I enjoy least? Putting decorations away! 🙂 Perhaps there’s a way to find thankfulness in the midst of the activity. Your words are encouragement today, Julie. #raralinkup.
Hi Kristi! Thanks for sharing your answers! What wonderful activities to do together and to include the friends of your children. I can picture in my mind the fun you have together with it all. I’m with you on putting the decorations away. Maybe we all need to caravan to each other’s homes to help each of us put them away. That would be much more fun. Bless you, friend!
I enjoy most celebrating Advent with lighting our wreath and reading each day. Enjoy least? Maybe feeling “obligated” to help with church programs. I’m normally willing to serve, but I just feel like focusing more on my family during this season? I also feel challenged to buy gifts on a limited budget, but I’ve done better recently with down-sizing gift-giving. I enjoy giving gifts, but it gets stressful in December.
Hi Betsy! Do you light your Advent wreath every day? And what reading do you do? I love reading your answers! Yes, there’s a difference in feeling obligated to help instead of being called to help at church or other places. I also understand about how gift-giving on a limited budget can be stressful, especially in December. We walked through that experience last year, and it taught me much. Praying for you in all of this and during this Christmas season, friend! Hugs to you!
Great questions, Julie.I enjoy getting together with friends and family for Christmas celebrations. I enjoy watching Christmas movies with my family (and when I’m preparing our Christmas letters to go out!). The thing I enjoy the least is the stress I feel to do the things that I feel must be done. I’m learning to let go of some of these things, from year to year. But, I’m not totally “there” yet. 🙂 I’m evaluating what doesn’t need to be done this year. Thanks for encouraging us to think about these questions!
Jeanne, you and I have much in common with both of what we enjoy and what we don’t during the Christmas season. I’m still learning to let go of some things each year. Maybe one day we’ll “arrive” there together! Praying God guides you and blesses you as you continue to let go. Hugs!