Ever find yourself really wishing you had more time to get ready for Christmas... December just seems to SNEAK up on you? Well, maybe we can make a difference... together!

Monday, December 31, 2012

I bet you had NO IDEA......

It really is no secret..
Christmas just holds a special place in my heart.... and if you remember... from this post.... I have had my "break-down" years.... FALL apart years.... FORGET IT years.... just plain and simple... BAH-HUM-BUG years....
Years that I just wanted to SLEEP through it - forget it - and just move on... I would literally get ILL whenever I heard a Christmas song... and if any one even MENTIONED the word CHRISTMAS...  I would have panic attacks just walking into a store and see Christmas decorations... if really FREAKED me out... I just did NOT enjoy even the slightest THOUGHT of Christmas.... HOW SAD! I had truly LOST the TRUE meaning of Christmas.... the SPIRIT of Christmas... All I could think about was HOW many gifts I needed to have for people that were EXPECTING gifts from us... How much money we DIDN'T have.... and how LITTLE (if anything at all) I could give to the people I really WANTED to give to! 

I'm so GLAD that I am NOT there anymore! 
I am OH SO GLAD that I finally took a break....
Paused in life...
And FOUND the TRUE meaning, REAL spirit, of Christmas again!

It's not about the gifts....
or the shopping...
or the decorating....
the parties....
the food....
or even friends....
OH, don't get me wrong....
Those "pleasures" are all GOOD and ADD to CHEER to the holiday season...


It just isn't what Christmas is really about!

Christmas is so much more.

Christmas to me means striving to become more like Christ... every day... in every action.... in everything that I do.  It means to be more giving, more kind, more generous, more patient, more tolerant, more accepting, to simply become more CHRIST like... in everything I do... and... it is something that I have been striving (and I'm sure I'm even failing at) to become through out the entire year, not just during December.

There are times that I have found Christmas enjoyable... times when I have not enjoyed it... times when I WISH for MORE time (because I don't get what I want done .. DONE!).... There have been years that I have gotten caught up in the "worldly" Christmas... and then there are the Christmas's that I have been truly touched... truly reminded of the true meaning of Christmas.  The excitement... the enjoyment... the calmness... the love... and honestly - those are the years that I have TRULY enjoyed Christmas...

For the past couple of years, I have really, I mean REALLY struggled to find enjoyment in the season, when we have been strained tremendously...both financially and in health.  We have struggled, as I'm sure many of you have as well.  As I look back... even just minutes after the "evidence" of Christmas morning are all scattered on the family room floor.... the evidence that the Jolly Ol' fellow made his stop at our house.... that I have been completely overcome with the "WHAT THE HECK WAS I STRESSING SO BADLY ABOUT" feeling came rushing to the surface... Have you ever felt like that?  I think I have put SO MUCH pressure on myself to have "THE PERFECT" Christmas morning.... that I have forgotten what it is truly about.  There are days when I just HATE being a perfectionist!  IT STINKS! because... nothing is EVER perfect! EVER!  I can find SOMETHING wrong in EVERYTHING that I do!  and in EVERYTHING that I say... WHY? oh why do I do that to myself... why?

But I have decided that I need to make CHRISTMAS become a part of my every day life.
Secretly - I listen to Christmas music for a few minutes every day - all year long.
Yeah - sometimes I get caught - but i don't care anymore.
It brings that "excitement" to my heart.
It helps me stay focused on "who" I am trying to become.
WHO I want to be every day - not just a day or two - or even 30 days out of the year.
I want to be more Christ like - every single day.
I really have a lot of work to get there - but I'm trying.

Yes - it has been a while... OK A LONG while since I posted on my blog - I'm sure that IF there is anyone that still follows my blog has pretty much decided - I've given up....
I haven't - I have wanted to update for so long - but... things have been a little CRAZY around here - and because of that craziness.... I NEARLY lost what I had been striving for all year...
the TRUE meaning of Christmas.

I started out with good intentions - you know - to get DONE before my dead line of Oct. 31...
BUT my husband, once again had different plans for us.
I did manage to get my "homemade" Christmas done for my the married kids... Not so sure that they were very impressed... but I did get bottled salsa, peaches, pickles, and tomatoes done...
Then I managed to get 48 containers of freezer jam - strawberry of course - completed... ordered the "honey" that they all said they would NEVER eat and it has become their FAVORITE!
And...that's where I ended... that's where life took a twist of events and I lost my momentum!

On October 4 we went in for what we "thought" was a routine doctor appointment for my Mister...
(the heart doctor) which turned into being referred to another doctor who only had an opening on the 9th - so we took it - which led to being in the hospital on the 11th at 10:00 am for an angiogram - and potential "angio-plasty" IF they thought they could fix things, but was most likely leading to open heart surgery on the 12th.... (which was our 29th anniversary I will add :)) ... and YEP!  Because we don't do things like everyone else, he ended up have quadruple bypass open heart surgery on the 12th.... we spent the next 4 days in TICU then the next 3 days on the med-surg floor... came home on the 18th about noonish or so only to discover that my washer was feeling neglected and decided it to needed some sort of open tub surgery - and exploded all over.... mind you with loads and loads of laundry to do - because we came home to a house filled with sick people....That was not on the plan... and there went all "Christmas Spirit" out the door!
Next, 8 weeks of no driving for my Mister... which meant that I was not only full time mom again - getting kids to school - but full time working mom clear across town... (a 3 hour daily commute)... it was a challenge - but we managed - and before I knew it - it was mid December... and I hadn't done NOTHING since September!  AGH!

So, you guessed it - Christmas Spirit was a bit deflated!  All my "good intentions" were washed out the door, everything I dreamed about doing during December - was not done!
Instead - everything I DIDN'T want to do during December was done..... including shopping! 
I spend Dec. 22, (which also was My Mister's birthday) shopping with all the other CRAZY people and hated....every....single....minute of it! 
I was such a SCROOGE!
I didn't want to be shopping this day! 
I didn't want to be out at all this day!
I wanted to spend the day just being with my Mister and kids! 
Not running around like a crazy, wild woman in the snow with the other 5 million people! 
I didn't! 
But there I was.... doing what I was NOT going to do!
I was so depressed. 
It was not fun at all.
I was stressed.
We had received "THE BIG" hospital bill earlier that week, and I just didn't want to open it...
the other 5 had already stressed me out... 
but for some reason, I opened it that morning .... 
and that just set me in a tail spin.
So while I was shopping all I could think about was how broke we were.... 
How were we EVER going to pay off these darn medical bills...
How my kids had nothing.
How disappointed they were going to be.
How disappointed "I" was.... 
Why oh why - did I do this to myself...  WHY!?!?!
Oh well.... it was what it was...

The next few days were just frustrating.
I was a basket case.
I spent the next 3 days doing exactly what I SWORE I would never do again! 
I was up til 3 or 4 am and slept for a couple hours then back at it - 
and my house was a MESS - 
LIFE was a mess! 

We had a very "meek" Christmas - and my kids don't really expect much - 
but more than what little gifts they had to open - 
it was the let down that we hadn't done the things I had wanted so badly to do.
Like - 
See the lights
Have our cookies, milk and movie night 
Make gingerbread houses
Do the 12 days of Christmas for a family or two 
Have our "baking" day 
Go to ZOO-Lights
I just felt deflated.
So much I "dreamed" of doing...
and I failed again! 
I let the family down again! 
And... I was missing my grand-babies! BADLY!

We did manage to do a little "candy making"
We did have our Family Night of "RACK'ed"
(Random Acts of Christmas Kindness)
We did have our Night in Bethlehem
But that was IT! 
My Favorite Things boxes were BORING this year! I was so drained, I couldn't even think about them... and I really think that was the BIGGEST let down for my kids... 
So... It has to happen next year - it just MUST! 

Not one gift was wrapped and under the tree - before 3 AM Christmas morning! 
Not MANY gifts were completed for that matter! 
This mom was POOPED! Plain old POOPED!

So guess what! 
There are 357 days until Christmas 
And guess what I have already done for next year! 
I've made a BETTER plan! 
And by DARN! I'm sticking to it! 
I hope you will all help me STICK TO IT! 

The 4th Saturday of every month is being dedicated to "HOMEMADE GIFTS" and PROJECTS!
My budget it already set 
My list of GIFTS for the kids is already made
My action plan for purchasing the items needed to make the gifts is written
AND.... my deadline is set AND I'm not telling anyone! 
Especially not my Mister! :)
All for good reasons..... 

I'm open for suggestions too - 
so if you have ANY ideas or suggestions that help you - 
PLEASE - share them! 
I'm so open! 

Here's to 2013! 
It's gonna rock.... right???? 
 Happy New Year Everyone!

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It's like CHRISTMAS everyday when I unwrap your kind words! I just LOVE getting secret messages!!! I really have the BEST bloggy friends ever!