Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Episode 454
The most wonderful time of the year is not what you think. It is not overloading or overdoing, it is rejoicing in what is the most important in your life. In this podcast, we drill down on how to make this season the best ever.
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Are you singing it with me, the refrains of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year?” well if not, let’s remedy that with this podcast that will hopefully get you to number one, put things into perspective and number two give you permission to not overstress the holidays.
So, when are you listening to this podcast? Is it weeks before Thanksgiving and Christmas, or is it right around the corner? No matter what time, I pray that this show helps you to see that life is too short to stress the stuff that really isn’t important in the long run. If you are a long-time listener you’ve heard me come full circle in many ways. I was the person that had to bake or make everything from scratch. I knew about DIY before it was even a thing. I could take those scraps like toilet paper and paper tubes from paper towels and come up with craft ideas and decorations for our table, of course with the kids helping and checking art off our homeschool list.
The Not So Wonderful Times
During the holidays if there is a family crisis, illness, or worse, it is difficult to be jolly and want to participate in all of the holiday festivities. At times like this, we lean on our other family members or friends. We look for the joy that comes from our faith and those loved ones we can surround ourselves with as a reminder of what is important.
Trying to do everything yourself can be was exhausting and terribly frustrating at times. But, if you keep things in perspective you can have a wonderful time this year with decorations, food and so much more that will not break the bank. I am a great believer in having the kids help if they are age-appropriate. And, kids love to feel needed and wanted.
Most Wonderful Time of the Year
First things first. What is really important to you this holiday season? Is it:
- Spending time with family and friends?
- Holiday traditions?
- Getting rid of stress?
- Making Memories?
Always remember the reason for the season. Most of us celebrate Thanksgiving because it is a day on the calendar, but taking a few minutes to talk about this with your children (all ages) allows us to put things in perspective. While it is nice to remember the past, my family’s focus is on how to create memories and focus on how thankful we are for our faith and family and the blessings in our lives. Sure, some years we have to dig deep to find a reason to be thankful but that too is a learning moment.
The same with Christmas. Are we caught in the trappings of putting up two or three trees, of buying gifts that cause us to go into debt, or are we focused on the real reason, celebrating the birth of our Savior into the world and rejoicing that there is a hope that brings us joy? We celebrate with extended family each year and sometimes even friends, but we look at our lives and balance these times with a look at the days leading up for our family which means an Advent Wreath and prayers each night leading up to Christmas Day.
What makes this time of the year wonderful? It is the feelings of love that bring joy. I think if I had to select one word I would say, love. There is love in the making and baking of foods, the decorations, and even in the giving of gifts. We give of ourselves and put thought into what we want to gift our children and our neighbors and friends. Then there are the smells of the season, beginning with cooking and baking but also in the scents of pine cones, or pine needles, or cinnamon and cloves. These things bring back memories and hopefully, they are good, if not make new memories with your children.
We live in a world that puts an emphasis on the material the things we can buy. Yet, our focus should be on the things that money can not buy. During a time of financial difficulty I use to look at the sky and say to the Lord, thank you for the beauty of your creation and for all the things I enjoy each and every day that are free and cost nothing. That year we were inspired as a family to make many gifts and those gifts are still treasures I’ve kept throughout the years. The kids painted shells they found at the beach and the larger ones were glossed and I used them as a place for paperclips on my desk. Those crafts last longer than most of the store-bought gifts. I will be recording a podcast on holiday road trips and Christmas traditions you can celebrate for less than ten dollars. These are wonderful reminders that the most wonderful time of the year should focus on the importance of the love we have for each other.
Let me take a minute and talk about that love. If you are in strained relationships in your home, take the time to sit with your spouse and children and figure out solutions to the problems. Just saying I’m sorry, or will you forgive me goes a very long way in mending fences. Talk honestly about working as a family during the holiday season to give the gift of generosity and love to each other. (If you missed my character planners on the topic you can find them in my Media Angels store – go to MediaAngels.com). They are free currently for all email subscribers.
The most wonderful time of the year means different things to different people. This Thanksgiving I will hand out brown, orange, and yellow slips of paper to each person and ask them to write, not what they are thankful for — but what makes this the most wonderful time of the year. We will read them out loud as a family. (They do not need to sign them unless they want to!) The idea is to think of this time of the year as a new beginning and a new start, not a marathon to just get Thanksgiving or Christmas or even at some point Easter over with!
Is there something that bothers you or you detest doing? Take it off the list. If you are not in the best frame of mind for entertaining if it is your turn to host the family, get on your knees and pray that the Lord blesses you and keeps you focused on Him. If we do something for someone and we are not thanked we can remember that the Lord was not thanked for His sacrifice either. Friends, I get it especially if you are a parent it is the most rewarding and the most thankless job there is, however, we do it because as I said earlier of that one word – the word love. I pray that the Lord blesses you and your family this holiday season and brings you the real joy that makes this, the most wonderful time of the year!
VHM-454-GreatestTimeoftheYear.mp3 (16:28, 7.5MB)