The Most *Wonderful* Time of the Year

I ran to Target this morning before church to grab a few things. With some spare time, I took Oliver over to the Christmas section, “just to look.” What I reeeeeeally wanted to do, though, was to buy every Christmas decoration and our new ornaments, right then and there. I’ll be honest, if my husband let me, I would be the crazy lady putting up all things Christmas the day after Halloween. Being over there, listening to the Christmas music playing, looking all of the trees and lights, seeing the wonder and amazement in Oliver’s eyes,  got me so deep into the holiday season.

Growing up, I had the blessing of having parents and a big outside family to celebrate the holidays with. We would spend hours and hours at our Thanksgiving and Christmas family dinners. The house was always decorated. We put the tree up as a family and decorated it with all of our newest ornaments. My mom would do all of the baking (she tried to get me into all of that, but to this day I’m still running to the store to get the desserts.) My dad would take us sledding. It was the picture perfect family holidays- at least to me.

Since Drew and I got married and had Oliver, we’ve come up with some new traditions, while I have also tagged along a couple of my childhood ones. We want to be able to give Oliver the same joyfulness that comes with all of the magic of the season. But I’ll be honest… it’s been harder than I thought it would be.

Don’t get me wrong, there will always be the love for this season in my heart. But starting your own, young family and trying to do everything on your list can be stressful and tiring. I find myself complaining about all of the trips we have to make on Thanksgiving Day. We have multiple sides of the family to plan around, and we truly want to spend time with everybody. But by the end of the day, I’m TIRED. I’m tired of being around people (thats the introvert in me.) I’m tired of driving from place to place. I’m even tired of turkey and mashed potatoes!!!

And then comes Christmas. I know presents aren’t even close to being the purpose of this holiday. Jesus is the reason. Having joy and love and family is the reason. BUT, presents come along with it. And I started stressing about them in the middle of October. It’s not about what to get everybody, it’s about how we’re going to get gifts for everybody. I want to be able to give our close family and friends the gifts that they so deserve. We have some of the best family that takes care of us and the best friends who are always there. So even if they pull the “Oh, you don’t have to get me anything!”, I still WANT to get them something. I want to show how much they mean to us, whether we “have the money” or not.

I started to think about all of this….and I realized I am BLESSED to be so tired and stressed over the holidays. It means that we have a families that want to be together. It means that I have people in my life that I care about. It means that we are able to buy the tree and the decorations to go with it. We have EVERYTHING we need.

And theres people who don’t have all of that. They don’t have a family to go spend Thanksgiving with. Children don’t have parents to buy them presents.

This can be a really lonely, depressing time of year for some people. They don’t have the joy and love in their hearts- whether they, deep down, want to or not.

While you are busy spending time with loved ones, making memories and new traditions, don’t forget about what this holiday season is truly about. Be kind. Show love. Bring the magic of the season out for those who can’t see it. Pray for those who may not have a family and open your doors to them.

Make this the most *wonderful* time of the year for everybody.

-J

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