The holidays are upon us again, and honestly speaking, sometimes I feel they lack the joy they’re meant to bring. This joyous season is my busiest. I feel overwhelmed and stressed just looking at all the events and obligations on our calendar. Because I feel as if I have to get all the things done at once, each day is overfilled. Before I know it, I’ve scheduled—some by choice, some by tradition—every last waking moment. When that happens, I become even more distracted and am left feeling empty. Nothing is there to offer my family.
Every day it seems like I run errands (back and forth to the mall to buy additional presents), bake Christmas cookies (the kids’ school parties), drive the kids to seemingly endless rehearsals (holiday plays and music programs), and of course, attend extra church services, all to celebrate the holiday season. But by the end of each day’s festivities, I find myself feeling rundown instead of joyful. Not only do I feel rundown, but my kids do as well.
This holiday season, instead of filling our calendar with every event we were invited to, I am taking time to sit down with our kids and asking them what they want to do. My kids said that holidays mean quality time spent with family. It’s not so much the doing but the being together they look forward to most. And so, I’m placing “time together as a family” at the top of our list. Whether we are driving around looking at Christmas lights, baking Christmas cookies together, or simply watching a Christmas movie, I now understand that what they love most is time spent with us—their mom and dad.
We have a gift to offer this holiday season, and it’s one that can’t be bought in a store. We have the opportunity to give our families our undistracted attention, to be fully present when we get together.
Let’s remember that we don’t always have to go somewhere or do something to create those special holiday memories. Sometimes the biggest gift of all is simply being there for the ones we love. As we gather with friends and family over the holidays, give the gift of time to those you love the most.
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).