Merry Christmas !
The holiday season is here and for the first time in 22 years I am off for the holiday and for once do not have to worry about working on the day my family is gathered together. It feels good. I have spent so many years working that the holidays had no feeling to me – It was more trouble to me than enjoyment. Over the years I have always been exhausted – which makes it hard to enjoy a house full of loud people and I sure did not want to go to the mall shopping, even though I am a big online shopper.
I talked to two of my dear friends Sandi and PJ the beginning of December and mentioned my dreads. You know the shopping, the gathering, the cooking, Christmas in general. One of them ask me why I did not turn the holiday into something that our family enjoyed – kick the old tradition out the window and make our own. I stopped and thought about that…I had never thought about making my own traditions it never seemed like an option. We always had so many places to go and people to visit that I hated it all. It was stressful and over whelming until I felt like it was choking me.
The first changes we made as a family – stop all the shopping for people who have all they need and what I would be giving them would get thrown in a closet or tossed aside waiting for the next yard sale. Most people have all they need and more…most have so much stuff they don't even know what they have. Now don't get me wrong and call me a complete scrooge (even thought I do love him). I love to give. I love to see someone whom really needs things light up. I never throw clothes away – I always give them to a shelter, clothing closet or someone who needs them. I don't have yard sales – I find a new owner.
The first Saturday after Christmas my whole family will be going to serve the homeless for a day. I want my boys to go and see how life is for those that have made the wrong choice, or life just happened to them because they did not have any other place to go. I am excited…to the point when I think about it my eyes fill with tears. There is more to Christmas than the tree and gifts. I want to be more like Christ and give back to someone else that may need a smile, encouraging word, a lift that only I can provide.
The family gathering – having dinner, spending time mingling, listening to their stories is much better than a gift in a box. Appreciating the life we have and the opportunities that have come our way. God has been so good to me. I have walked down some pretty dark paths and feel so blessed to have come out in the life I have now.
My family and I have made sure we scheduled our own day for Christmas. I handed each of the men in my home a post-it note. They were ask to write one thing they wanted on the dinner table – it did not matter what it was – I would cook it. Looks like we will be having fried pork chops, sweet potatoes casserole, corn on the cob, black eyed peas and ham, brownies with hershey's kiss stuck down in them fresh out of the oven. When I mentioned us doing our very own day they all perked up and said YES!! Why did I wait so long….
If you are like me and have been troubled over Christmas, Do not spend money you do not have on gifts.
Make a new tradition. Start a new path – lean in and ask those around you how you can have your very own tradition.
Thank you for sticking with me this year and reading along as I have written to you about my life as a nurse, finished and published my book, you have written me notes that made me smile and some brought tears to my eyes. With each comment that is posted on my blog and reply that comes in email – you bless me. That is Christmas to me surrounding myself with people who love me and what I do.
Merry Christmas you are amazing to me. ~Angela Brooks