When you’re in retail or are a small business owner like I am, you start preparing for Christmas in October. AND YET, the Christmas season has still gone so quickly this year and seems to have gotten away from me.
I quit my full-time job in mid-October, and we left for a vacation to Disney World and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter the next day (excellent timing, right?). My children’s book was officially published as soon as we got back, and I got right to work promoting it. I spent November stocking the booth for our Christmas Open House, went back to working full-time (at a temporary job–not the same job that I left!) the day before Thanksgiving, and hosted Thanksgiving. I had my first unofficial book signings with my family over the Thanksgiving holiday and my first official book signing in Now and Then Booth Space at Logan Village Mall in Noblesville, Indiana the following weekend. I followed that with a visit to Sheridan Elementary School to read Wilson’s Best Day to 16 classes of preschool-5th grade students. I was also blessed and honored this month to begin tutoring a bright young lady who is working on publishing her own book. I don’t think I’ve ever been so busy during the holiday season, and I don’t think I’ve ever been so grateful to be so busy.
Those who are close to me know that I was out of work nearly the entire year of 2014, and it was an all around extremely difficult year. We dealt with a lot of disappointment. Thank God, 2015 has been very different. I’m very grateful to be so busy because it means I am flooded with opportunities.
Anyway…back to the point…the Christmas season has nearly gotten away from me! I’m looking forward to having a few days to rest and watch all of those Christmas movies I’ve been meaning to watch and do all the snuggling on the couch I’ve been meaning to do and getting around to replacing the starter box in the fireplace so that I can do all the curling up by the fire that I’ve been meaning to do (although I don’t really need the fireplace when it’s still an impossible 60 degrees in Indiana).
And on to the very vintage Christmas decor…I love the addition of this shabby little garland to our Christmas tree this year. I got a bag of scrap ticking stripe material, vintage doilies that had been cut in half, and ribbons at a yard sale earlier this year. I’ve been going through a lace and doily phase, and as you all know, I love to use all different shades of white in my décor. I decided to put those little scraps to work on the tree.
My mom got this little vintage tree skirt for a dollar at a sale and gave it to me. I adore it.
I stopped into Michael’s a few weeks ago, and wreathes were on sale for $3.00…$3.00!! I hadn’t planned on getting any, but I had to after seeing the price. Their ribbon was also 60% off, so I was able to pull off some very cheap additions to the porch decorations. I really love this black and red houndstooth ribbon. It would be awesome as a garland on a tree, but I’m thinking of using the leftover to tie ribbons on presents that have yet to be wrapped—something else I’ve been meaning to do!
Instead of being overwhelmed, I have been striving to be present in each moment this busy holiday season. I have chosen to put certain opportunities on the back burner, and while I’ve been busy, I have chosen to not exhaust myself so that my little family and I can find some rest, peace, and joy—the things about which Christmas is supposed to be.
You may be overwhelmed for different reasons this Christmas. You may be overwhelmed with financial issues, family problems, sickness, sadness, loneliness, or grief. You may simply be overwhelmed with busyness and striving to make Christmas perfect for your family. Whatever you are overwhelmed with, know this: we always have a reason to celebrate on Christmas because God gave us the gift of His son, who walks with us through all of life’s mess and gives us the peace, rest, mercy, and grace that we need. Renee Swope put it this way: “Instead of feeling overwhelmed during this busy season, let’s choose to be overjoyed with the fact that Jesus was born.”
Merry Christmas, everyone.