The early promotion of the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons sets off a low-grade panic in my mind. There are so many options everywhere that I feel like there's no way I'll do everything that needs to be done before the happy day of December 25th. Add to that the budget constraints that most people are still under and that time of joy begins to feel like a long, dreadful march uphill in the rain!
This week is Thanksgiving, and what I had originally foreseen as a quiet, "no fuss" holiday for this year to accomodate the tiredness I feel from this busy fall has morphed into more of a "deal" at our home than I thought I wanted. But this morning, as we prayed the prayer of confession at church, I became aware of the magnitude of my selfishness. We have so much to be thankful for! How can I possibly want to just shut the door to others who are without family or resources? Shame on me! Thankfully, God is always gracious and forgiving, and my heart was calmed as I asked for strength and joy to serve and welcome whomever He adds to our celebration this year.
Christmas is next. As we look at our calendar and I try to figure out how to shop and prepare, I keep thinking about the importance of joy in this celebration. Once again, I'll need grace for that to happen. I've already been encouraged along those lines by Nancy Wilson's excellent post about Christmas at Femina this week-end.(see link under Good Reads) Be sure to check it out!
And, in the words of Fra Giovanni, "Take joy"!