When I compare last Christmas to this Christmas, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Yes, last year brought joy and happiness, but it wasn't all genuine and heartfelt. There was a sadness looming over me last year that made the heart of the season somehow go missing. Thankfully and WHOLE HEARTEDLY it's come back.
This year – this Christmas, I am reminded of just how blessed I am instead of how stressed I am. This Christmas season has been pure joy and it really is for the simplest reasons.
I Christmas baked. Real baking. Not just Rice Krispie squares and my default shortbread. I tried new recipes and recreated old ones. Baking this year really healed my soul and reminded me that traditions, even if it is just Randy and I, are so important. And the satisfaction that comes from your handsome and oh so appreciative husband enjoying every last crumb of something you baked is holiday bliss for me.
I Shopped Early this Christmas.
Well, ok, I made my list and organized a budget, and ordered things online early. The rest was done just recently and, well, gift cards can still be purchased this weekend and Scentsy is always on hand! The point is, I had the desire to do so with a full heart and with joy instead of out of stressful obligation.
I was Social.
Shameful Confession: The last time I saw my closest friend from first year at college was almost 5 years ago. She only lives an hour away. Catching up (or trying to cram as much in as we could into 3 hours) made me reflect deeply on how I don't make time to see the people I care about more. What better time than the holidays to connect. I am forever grateful she asked to meet for breakfast last week. My Christmas Season has truly been enriched because of it.
I took away Perfectionism.
For as long as I can remember I have always tried to give the best gifts. Not competitively where “my present has to be better than yours” but more, “I want them to like it so much they totally freak out”. Trouble is, no one ever freaked out.
I would always put so much pressure on giving such a good gift that I would end up overthinking my purchase and end up getting something practical instead. Practical doesn't create freak outs. So, this year, I released myself of the burden of giving the perfect gift or spending the correct amount on someone. This year, I gave myself a break and reminded myself that gift giving is a blessing, not a job.
When you take away the pressure, somehow happiness finds a way of sneaking in.
Wishing you joy, bliss, happiness and all the other wonders this season has to offer. Take the time to see loved ones, don't put so much pressure on yourself and above all else, do something that makes you smile. Your holiday will be so much better when you do!
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