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Welcome to the hectic years

Hi, I'm Mindi.

And this is our Hectic Life.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The List

This time of year consists of many checklists.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays, but they can get very chaotic and demanding.
There are just so many things to get done before Christmas.

For example, there’s the simple task of getting out Christmas cards. The very first year we were married, I used a wedding picture and printed cards from home using that picture. Once Hunter was born I started making the card using a picture of the kids, or at least including one in the card. Then I designed my own Christmas cards using a photo taken specifically for the occasion.

See how it can escalate? Last year I made such a big deal out of getting a good photo, that when I didn’t get one I didn’t even get cards printed or mailed.

And that’s just the tip of the ice-berg. There are decorations to put up (check), gifts to make and buy (check), cookies to bake (check), parties to attend (check), Christmas programs to watch and videotape (check) . . . The list goes on and on. So much to do, and less than 4 weeks to do it in.

But in the midst of the checklist, the celebration is getting lost. Not just the real meaning of Christmas, the birth of Jesus, but the enjoyment of the holidays. Giving to someone else because it makes you feel good to see the smile on their face when they open their gift. Feeling the Christmas magic as you stand in church, surrounded by sparkling boughs and wreaths as you sing carols of hope, peace, and love. Catching the children’s excitement as they count down the days until that one enchanted morning when they wake up to find their stockings filled and presents under the tree.

It’s not about the things to do, it’s about doing them. It’s not about buying the gifts, but about giving them. It’s about spending time together with family, and letting others know that you love them by handing over a plate of freshly baked and decorated cookies that were made with the help of eight little hands. It’s sitting down at the table to construct craft with the kids, and gathering around the tree to hang ornaments while listening to Christmas songs.

Yes, I still have a checklist.

But years from now, I’m not going to remember all the things that I ‘checked off’ my list.

I’m going to remember the laughter, the togetherness, the giving, and the feeling of being loved. I’m going to remember the peace of knowing that no matter how many mistakes I make every day, God gave us His child to fix my mistakes. And my children’s mistakes. And over the Christmas season, we celebrate that love and selfless giving for an entire month.

I’m not going to get lost in the ‘checks’. I’m going to get lost in the joy.



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