Even though I continue to simplify in an effort to lessen the holiday season’s madness, I still find myself swirling about these last few days before Christmas. Too many different things stretching me in too many different directions…but still I strive for the peace that passes all understanding.

Christmas will be very different for my family this year. As it is typically “my” holiday, I’m usually planning and prepping for several loved ones to share the day with us—but this year nearly everyone is out of town. Weird.

Initially, I had a hard time time “accepting” this (as if I could alter reality), but then I began to understand how this change might bring some unforeseen fringe benefits. It’s all in how you look at it, right?

But me being me, even though this smaller celebration should mean less pressure, I seem to have found new ways to stress myself. It’s a gift, really. So as I’ve said this to you before, I’m really saying this to me:

Stop putting so much pressure on yourself to have everything just right, when the truth is that there is no perfect…In the rush to do all that you think you must, please remember to give yourself some grace. Remember to breathe and enjoy. Remember to love. Remember the real Reason for the season. 

 

reason for the season

 

Though the human spirit is amazingly resilient, at the same time our sensitive hearts are fragile and need to be handled with care. On that note, in what has become a Juggle Struggle tradition, I would like to again share with you a reminder for us to be gentle with one another—and ourselves.

 

believe

FraGEElay

(Originally posted December 24, 2012.)

Thanks to A Christmas Story, I can never see the word “fragile” without pronouncing it fraGEElay in my head. And on this Christmas Eve, things can indeed be fragile…huge ToDo lists…family gatherings…full schedules…exhausted parents trying to provide the “perfect”  Christmas for their kids…It can get messy and broken pretty quickly. So as you would with fragile things, be gentle.

Though I have plenty of dysfunctional memories of this time of year (don’t we all?), I have so many lovely ones, too. Thankfully, the memories of things like my mom threatening to have Santa pass over our house if we weren’t asleep in two minutes (no pressure!) are far outnumbered with ones like having my dad read Santa Mouse to us, sledding with cousins, and counting Christmas trees in the windows during any nighttime car ride.

Another favorite memory of mine is the placing of the baby Jesus in the manger of our Nativity scene on Christmas Eve. We knew Christmas had really come when that happened. And for any who may be reading who don’t hold Christmas as a time to feel the blessings of the birth of the Christ child, please do not be offended as I wish those who do a merry Christmas. (I’m hoping we’re cool with it, as I would not be upset if someone wished me a happy Hanukah or Kwanzaa.) I wish everyone blessings…and if life is not treating you gently, I pray you have people in your life who do. Or at least love you as they help you pick up the pieces.

 

angel ornament

Love and Merry Christmas, friends.

 

All photos are my own.
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