I fake it well. This adulthood mask I wear can usually fool the masses, but if you want to blow my cover, put me in front of a Christmas tree with brightly colored packages and you will find me excitedly crawling around looking for the name “Heather.”
Even more than finding my own gifts, I love giving gifts. Sometimes, I stress myself out in the process; yet, typically I enjoy thinking about, shopping for, and delivering Christmas gifts. I normally shop year round and then have the torturous task of waiting several months to present my finds to their new owners!
When I am not in the hustle and bustle of the season, I tend to think of Christmas as a warm and inviting time. I dream about warm Christmas pajamas, the smell of baked goods, and gathering with family in front of the tree. In the actual craziness of the season, I tend to feel a bit less warm and inviting. The traffic, bad attitudes, stressed shoppers, and occasional drama can put a damper on Christmas if we let it.
Keep Out the Christmas Grumpies!
So, let us not allow it. This year, we should cut off the Christmas grumpies at the pass! Predict the situations which cause us grief, make a plan to avoid them, and set our sights on joy. One way to escape the Christmas grumpies is by planning several seasonal experiences to enjoy with your sweetheart. Shop early, create a workable Christmas menu, and then enjoy the rest of your time together. Do not put so much effort into making your celebration perfect that you miss the Christmas spirit altogether.
Try to Have at Least Five Christmas Experiences with your Sweetie this Year
Spend quality time together drinking in the season, taking pictures, and making memories. Here are five Christmastime recommendations:
- Go caroling together. If you have never tried it, make this your year. Find or create a caroling group and bring unsuspecting people some Christmas cheer.
- Read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. It is a short book you can probably read out loud with your sweetheart in one sitting. It is one of my mom’s favorites.
- Take baked goods to neighbors and friends. This is fun for you both and a mood lifter for others. How can you not feel better after opening the front door and seeing cookies on your porch?
- Find some outstanding Christmas lights. Go on a hunt for the best light displays in a fifty mile radius! Instead of driving around hoping to see some lights, do some research. Ask around. Find out about a few awesome light displays, and drive your sweetie to see the show.
- Decorate your own special tree together. Even if there is already a trimmed tree in the living room, decorate another tree with your special someone. It does not have to be real, and it does not have to be stunning. It just has to belong to you both. ~smile~
Stress is a holiday killer. The more freaked out we get with the details, the less joy we have to display and extend. It is easy to get caught up in the overwhelming nature of modern celebrations. “The food has to be just right. Did I buy enough gifts? Will they like their gifts? Do I need to go to the store again? Are my decorations tacky?”
One Christmas, I found myself back at Walmart again. I could not believe I had something else to retrieve. While I was feverishly cutting through the women’s department to find my last minute item, I almost plowed into my childhood friend’s mom. It was embarrassing to say the least. It was as if I had never been taught any manners in my life. I can only hope she does not remember the incident or the crazed look I likely had on my face (followed by the red glow of sheer humiliation).
The last several Christmas have been far more stressful than they needed to be. What matters most at Christmas is Christ and then family. Christmas will not be ruined if you forget that one last gift, leave the nuts out of the apple cake, or forget to send your dentist a Christmas card; but, if you squander time with loved ones in an attempt to perfect minor details, you’ll likely end up regretting it. No one will remember the imperfections, anyway. The memories we treasure come from family time, so take off the apron and sit a while.
Do not give in to the Christmas grumpies. Plan ahead. Shop ahead. And, be sure to share at least five Christmas experiences with your special someone this year!
What Christmas experiences are you planning for your sweetheart this year?