It is Christmas time and for most of us the season begins around Thanksgiving. We typically shift gears right after the turkey dinner to Christmas. Of course if you are a television person you may have the tradition of watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. (A tradition since I was a young girl.) I was nine when I moved to
and on my first Thanksgiving there I was treated to going to see it personally! That was exciting and chilly as I stood there watching, feeling quite small as I tried to see the floats go by. So I have sometimes had that on in the morning background while cooking in the kitchen and specifically when my grandsons are home. It truly jump-starts our holiday celebrations and makes me feel like decorating! New York City
I can remember the days of late night baking, making and decorating that although nice to have, thoroughly exhausted me by the time Christmas actually came. No wonder I would put on several pounds throughout the end of November and month of December! No surprise that when the day came I was cranky and lacking energy from all the late nights and poor diet. Then the new year comes and we have to make all those resolutions that end up getting tossed aside after a few weeks or months if we are really diligent.
So how can we be kind to ourselves and those we love without over-taxing, over-spending and over-indulging ourselves? It is hard and I will be the first to admit that my will power is weak and wimpy this time of year! I guess one could shop and bake throughout the months leading up to Christmas but that typically doesn’t happen! So as I have been thinking about this I have some thoughts to share.
Over-taxing ourselves can lead to physical fatigue and then we succumb to sickness if we are around it. It is vital to keep the immune system boosted and fighting all those ickies that float around in the air and are on things we touch in public places! Sure we can carry our sanitizer with us but if we are taking care of ourselves then our immune system is able to do what God created it to do and ward off the ‘stuff’ that wants to invade our bodies.
Take care of yourself during this stress-filled time of year! It seems that everything is heightened and emotionally we can become drained. I am trying to make sure that I get lots of rest and that I eat healthy. I am using a bit more vitamin C and love that 1000 mg dose in an easily consumed package! Stir into a little water and voila, it will go a long way throughout your day. (Just don’t take it too late in the evening or you won’t sleep!) Also, stay hydrated. Winter is always dry and most of our homes are more so in the closed winter months. Unless you live in the south!!! I struggle with consuming water throughout the day but try. How is it that we know what is good for us but struggle to do it? Sounds like the familiar words of Paul, "...for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate..." Even
struggled to do the right thing. It is sometimes just a simple, 'right now, I am going to make a conscious effort to do what is right' kind of thing! You will be encouraged when you do. Saint Paul
We all know that over-spending this time of year is typical. I don’t know about you but a gift-giving budget is just hard for me! One of my love languages is gifting so it is extra hard for me to reign in. However it helps to have a husband who is ultra conservative on matters like spending and so we are back and forth as I try to show him the “somewhere in the middle” range of spending:0) I have started to ask my kids and grandsons for a list. That way I can have a choice pricing-wise and yet be able to gift them with something that they really to have. It is also nice if one can put funds aside throughout the year to use toward the gifting fund.
Gifting is a wonderful thing and we know that Jesus himself said in Acts 20:35 “that it is more blessed to give than to receive.” A few years back we decided that we would let our grandsons see giving done in the spirit of blessing those who don’t have. We looked through our Samaritan’s Purse catalog and let the boys choose a gift to give like a dozen ducks or chickens and we even purchased a goat to be given in their name another year. The whole gift thing should be focused on the fact that we give because God first gave to us His Son Jesus! We have certainly carried that to the extreme!
Then the over-indulging issue! This tends to be one of my worst sins. I have been completely defeated in this area for way too long! However I had my best year ever last year and I am hoping to continue it this year. I confess my besetting sin is gluttony! Not a very nice word to admit to but I am going to call it what it is!
Author Dee Brestin, relates ‘gluttony’ to idol worship and I agree that we can let food replace our need for God in many instances. In the word it says in Psalm 34:8, “O taste and see that the Lord is good...” I am trying to contend with replacing the excessive food with time with the One I love. Not only does the consuming interrupt my Godward thinking but look at the prep time in cooking! It is time that a good portion could be given to my Father who waits for me to come and join Him in sweet fellowship! Not to mention Paul’s words again from 1Corinthians 6:19,20 “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have from God and that you are not your own?” He issues the call to “glorify God in your body.” Yikes, I guess for me it will only be a couple of ‘goodies’ and a nice meal or two when the family is home. It is difficult though, I love to cook and feed! Now I can turn my “feeding” into spiritual food!
|Now that is peace!|
Be kind to yourself and those that have to put up with you. Be a joy to those around you and spend your quality time with your Father, celebrating Christ’s birth! That is how we become equipped to meet the needs of those around us. Now that’s Christmas!