1483575_10153507655865244_614706060_n[1]I’m sitting in my living room, surrounded by peace and quiet. The only light is one small lamp and the lights of the Christmas tree (Yes, it’s already up and decorated. We go away for Thanksgiving, and I want it up and ready to enjoy when I get home.) It’s a cold, drizzly day outside, but the heat just came on, and the house is warm. I have a salted caramel mocha to enjoy, and my laptop to keep me company.

The thing is, Thursday is Thanksgiving. And we all know that Thanksgiving is just the beginning of the mad dash until New Years, when we can take a big breath and make resolutions not to do this again next year (something we easily forget by fall).

I am the biggest offender in the craziness that accompanies this season. I love EVERYTHING about Christmas – lights, music, food, celebrations, food … get the picture? I want to soak up every tiny little bit of it that I can. There’s never too much Christmas music, too many parties, too many lights.

But, truthfully, that can make for a bit of a ride on the crazy-train. I want everything to come together to make the perfect holiday season – and I use that term intentionally. I want Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas, New Years, and Epiphany to form this beautiful, cohesive string of events that leave us with a warm fuzzy to last until the next year.

And it’s expectations like these that will set me up for disaster every time.

So this year, I have a simple three-fold plan to attempt to make it through the season without placing extra stress on myself and my family:

  1. Look for the shiny things. I talked here about looking for the shiny things in each day, small things that bring beauty to life.
  2. Be grateful. Looking for the shiny things helps me to be thankful for the life that God has given me, rather than focusing on what He has given someone else. I still struggle with the green-eyed monster of jealousy, but changing my focus increases my contentment with all that I have.
  3. Enjoy the moment. I am often guilty of rushing to get to the next thing and missing the joy in the moment. Life will never again be exactly as it is today. I need to slow down and savor the time.

What about you? How do you handle the craziness of the holiday season?