Christmas in July
by Stacy Jones Tolentino
I have a confession to make. It's smack dab in the middle of the year and I'm dreaming of Christmas. Yep! Here I am on this warm, sunny, lemonade sippin', and hammock lounging sort of day thinking of all of that Ho! Ho! Ho! Fa-la-la! Mistletoe stuff. And I know what you're thinking--that I'm some sort of nut--a bit insane to be thinking of Christmas in July. Well, I'm no nut. And if you're not thinking about Christmas in July you may be in for a lot more than a merry little Christmas this year.
Christmas used to be my favorite time of the year, but around seven years ago I began to dread the Christmas holiday. I was spending too much money. I was doing too much visiting. I had too many gifts to wrap and I was dead tired from trimming the house. Christmas was out of control and just no fun! Frankly, it was depressing to me and come the first of each year, I was relieved that it was over and that I didn't have to think about it for another eleven months.
Frustration as well as a longing to enjoy the Christmas holiday again is what have prompted me to begin thinking about Christmas in July. I know that if I don't address the Christmas chaos now, I'll be sucked into the holiday hurricane right after Thanksgiving and my Merry Christmas will, once again, be a scary Christmas. Apparently, I'm not the only one who is fed up with the Christmas craziness. Elaine St. James, author of Simplify Your Christmas: 100 Ways to Reduce the Stress and Recapture the Joy of the Holidays, simplified her Christmas years ago. She doesn't trim a tree, send Christmas cards, or attend Christmas dinners. And while these things may be a bit drastic for some (like myself) they work for her and that's what matters.
Create the Christmas You Enjoy
The key to having a merry little Christmas is to stop doing all of the things that you don't enjoy and to do more of the things you do enjoy in an effort to make your Christmas holiday simpler, more meaningful and less commercial. Jo Robinson and Jean Coppock Staeheli's book, Unplug the Christmas Machine: A Complete Guide to Putting Love and Joy Back into the Season, teaches you to do just that. Through a series of exercises in their book I was able to pin point what I loathe about my once favorite holiday. I reflected on what I do enjoy and have decided to make it a point to do those things from this year forward.
Christmas Missions Are Not Impossible!
So sometime this summer between fireworks, camping trips and barbeques, I'll be squeezing in time to draft a Merry Christmas mission statement for my family. Sure, I may sound a little weird humming 'Deck the Halls' in the middle of July and I may be a few months early sorting through all of my Christmas boxes, but I'm de-cluttering and de-stressing in the process, which is what I know I've got to do if I'm ever going to enjoy Christmas like I used to and fortunately this is one mission that's not impossible! 'Fa-la-la-la-la...La-la-la-la!'
© Copyright 2001 Stacy Jones Tolentino/ Homefront Publishing
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