Well, somehow Christmas came and went without us ever going to a "Carols by Candlelight" or without me ever putting up my tree... How did that happen? I haven't the faintest idea...(I did put up my mom's tree for her - does that count?). Somehow it just seems all wrong (especially since I'm a particularly sentimental person when it comes to Christmas). I did vow not to put my foot into an overcrowded mall before Christmas, but I found myself sneaking in there two days before Christmas (you know, with a peak cap and shades, Britney or Angelia-style) to get a last few things..but I really usually try to avoid being amongst irritated shoppers in malls just before Christmas.
Nevertheless we still got into the swing of things and exchanged gifts, had a delish Christmas lunch and I sang a few carols in the car (unaccompanied, I must say) on our way to our Christmas destination on Christmas Eve (if my husband hadn't known me for 15 years already I think he would have suspected something was up....).
But really, the real joy of Christmas is, and should be, the celebration of the miracle birth of Jesus and what it means for us every day and, of course, for eternity. And that, I think, we cannot miss even if we miss a Carols service or don't put up the tree. I think that many people get caught up in a "buying-gifts-for-everybody-within-our-budget" kind of panicky state (or maybe not so panicky state) and in the organizing of an over-the-top Christmas lunch, but really if we forget what the crux of it all is, then there's no point. I must say, I think my family has got it perfectly: a special day with family and friends, the exchanging of simple gifts to symbolize the giving of a special gift (Jesus) and really just spending time with each other.
And now - wham - just like that - we are in 2009! I swear someone PUSHED me 'cause I just wasn't ready yet (I know, I know - time waits for no man - but hey, I'm a woman!). I thought the transition would be smoooth... apparently not! This new year has just come so soon (snuck up on me, like Christmas did - maybe they're in cahoots!) and suddenly we're on a roll again. Sigh!
Well then, Mister New Year, since you came rather suddenly and uninvited, here are the rules for you, 2009 : I will celebrate each day for what it is - a gift!
I will embrace hardship and struggle and endure them so that I may learn the lessons there are to learn.
I will forgive quickly and not give anyone a reason to forgive me.
I will love others more and do more for them, expecting nothing in return.
I will make more time for my family and friends.
I will be nicer to myself and do lots of spoil-me things...
I will be more creative.
I will appreciate the gifts and blessings given to me.
I will put God first every day (His day, His plan for me).
I trust that 2009 is going to be a year full of blessings!