Monday, January 3, 2011

Where are you Christmas?

More often than not, I use our blog as a way of sharing our life's "ups", the good-times and the blessings. But it wouldn't be reality if I also didn't occasionally share the the pit-falls and stumbles that make my life what it is---an imperfect journey towards being the best me possible...

For years I've felt sorry for "those people" that claim that Christmas is for the kids. That as adults Christmas means a never-ending list filled with chores, errands, must-dos, and gotta-get-dones. Not to mention all the stress over finding, then budgeting for, those perfect gifts that can quickly pile up, much like unwanted holiday pounds after too many Christmas cookies.

And I used to think---that'll never be me!

But if life has taught me anything, it's that I should never say never.

I'm not sure exactly when it happened, or how, but somewhere along the way, amid the craziness of the season, I allowed Christmas to lose its magic and become a chore.

Where are you Christmas?
Why can't I find you?
Why have you gone away?
Where is the laughter you used to bring me? 

Why can't I hear music play?
My world is changing.
I'm rearranging, does this mean Christmas changes to?

(Where are you Christmas?, lyrics---credit)

There have been songs written about it, so surely I am not alone, but no one, not even the Grinch himself, can be blamed for almost stealing Christmas from me this year. I only have myself to blame for becoming so wrapped up in all the holiday hoopla that I nearly forgot to take time to enjoy the simplicity and true beauty of the season. With a blizzard of emotions and distractions clouding my mind and heart, I came close to missing Christmas completely. And what a shame that would have been, not only for me, but for my loved ones as well.

But with the decorations now returned to their attic home, and the light from where the tree once stood now dim, I can say with certainty that I am no longer searching for Christmas. I have found it, though it wasn't hidden deep within a stocking, nor in a package wrapped in paper and topped with a fancy bow. I found Christmas in the hugs, laughter, and smiles of family and good friends; in my own tears as I realized what I had come close to missing; in the joy that came from discovering peace within one's soul, and contentment in the world;  and in remembering that through Him all things are possible, and that without Faith, an occasional detour off life's path can leave you lost forever.

"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."--- Charles Dickens

Blessings, y'all! Make it a great one.

42 comments:

Christina said...

What a well written post! I'm so glad you decided to share your struggle in finding "Christmas". I know that you are only one of many who have found themselves in the same place. I have been there myself, so you are most definitely not alone. I'm also glad you were able to reclaim Christmas for yourself and enjoy it for what it really is, presents and decorations aside. :) Happy New Year.

Kelly said...

You are so right. Christmas is my favorite time of year, I always enjoy it. This year it seems to have been so cluttered with "stuff" to do that I didn't finish decorating, and I didn't do my Christmas baking. I was just too busy. Now the gifts were purchased in plenty of time, and the Christmas meals went by without a hitch but something was just off this year...I have already vowed to make next year better! Happy New Year to you!

Jennifer said...

'You took the words right out of my mouth' (Meatloaf..since you always like to quote..ha, ha). I was feeling the same way this year. I feel like Christmas has been made to be a chore and that it is not fun anymore. Like it has lost it's meaning to some degree. The holiday season starts so early that by Thanksgiving, we are already stressed that our shopping is not complete and the house isn't decorated. But I, like you, didn't let Christmas get away. I found it in the smiles on my kids faces as they opened presents and the laughs we had sitting around with our families. So, next year, I hope we can all enjoy it a little more. Happy New Year bloggy buddy :)

Laura@Cowboy Boots said...

well if you get preg by next christmas you can sit back and relax..haha...that's what happened this year...or yes..like you i might have missed it too...

Missyduck said...

Shannon, I'm so glad that I found your blog (throught Tracey Reese, of course) and absolutely love reading your thoughts. So sweet, down-to-earth and refreshing to know that there are other moms like me out there, on good days & bad!!

Blessings, Missy Knight
(thebigadventuresoflilduck.blogspot.com)

Joni said...

exactly! very well written. i have felt the same way. i think next year i am going to slow down just a little and take the time to enjoy the small things just a little more.

Joni said...

btw...i left you an award over at my place. happy new year!

Mama K said...

Great post Shannon! I completely agree with so much of what you said. It is so easy to lose the spirit of Christmas...but family and friends are definitely the key! Glad you were able to catch the spirit before it slipped away! Happy New Year!!

blueviolet said...

I am so glad you found it before it was too late!

Michelle said...

Great post!
And glad you're back - I've missed your updates :)

I Do Declare said...

Well written, friend! Happy New Year!

flip flops and pearls said...

Shannon,
Amen Friend! I think I have mentioned that a time or 2 and yet still........

We will be seeing each other soon. I got a GC to a spa over your way. I think I'll go get a pedi. Gotta find out the exact location. Maybe we could meet there!!

Happy New Year Girlfriend!
xo-D

Candace said...

Well put!

Oh have I missed your posts since Christmas too!

laura said...

amen sister! felt the same way. rush rush rush...

Candice said...

Aww, I'm sorry. Sometimes I think it's our expectations that are too high. Then we become disappointed. Sometimes it's nice to let go. I didn't bake or do Christmas cards this year. I got everyone 1 small gift, did all my shopping online, and only bought for children. Boy did that simplify things...and no one noticed a difference!! Happy New Year Shannon!!

The Wife In Her New Life said...

I love that song -- I think about it all the time. It's so easy to get wrapped up in everything. You blink. and it's over. You missed it. I am in the same boat as you -- I almost missed it. Because of me. Because I was so worried about whether people would like the gifts I made them or if they would be upset that we couldn't spend more. My husband took me in his arms a few nights before Christmas and told me that it's not about the gifts...it's about the thought and who we share the time with. He's right -- and you came to that conclusion too.
CHRISTmas is most certainly a time to share love and hugs and laughter with the people you care most about and celebrating the birth of His Son!
Great post -- so glad you didn't miss it!

Jumping Jack said...

I felt the exact same way this year, but by Christmas morning, I was back in the spirit.

Happy New Year!

Mungee's Ma said...

Glad to know that your narrow miss was curbed and you found Christmas after all!

We celebrate Hanukkah and the past couple of years, we really haven't made a big deal of the traditions that come along with it, such as decorating and cooking latkes, lighting the menorah, eating gelt and playing dreidel. I hope that next year we find ourselves embracing it a little more since Mungee will be old enough to participate.

Happy New Year to you and your sweet family!

Jennie said...

Oh, I understand how you feel! The older I get, the more seems to be expected from me for the holidays, and it's so much more stressful! Glad you were able to appreciate the precious moments before they slipped away :)

Teresa@oursoutherncountryhomeandfarm said...

Thanks for sharing this, and no, you certainly not the only one who has ever felt this way. I am glad you found Christmas tho. Oh, and Happy New Year.

Tote said...

What a great blog! I loved reading it. I think as women, we tend to put so much presure on ourselves to make things wonderful for everyone else that we forget about enjoying the real meaning of the Holidays. We all really need to slow down. This year we cut back on many gifts. I did alot of shopping on line, and that seemed to help. I was home this year with my broken ankle so that made things a little easier. I am usually working, and by the time Christmas arrived, I was exhausted! I am glad you found the spirit of the Holiday, it really is a wonderful feeling! Keep up the good work!

Carey said...

I know exactly what u mean! We are blessed to live close to most of our family, but often this leaves us rushing from one house to another trying to please everyone....it was an absolute choice to remain joyful and remember to worship the Christ-child this year admist all the hurrying! Thanks for sharing!

Southern Living: Preppy Style said...

Beautiful post Shannon!

Liz said...

Shannon - I've missed you !!

I'm glad you were able to put all the hoopla aside and find Christmas. It is so easy to let yourself get carried away in everything that comes along with the holiday. But you are right.. the laughter, smiles, and time spent with family are the best parts of the season! :)

Lexie Loo & Dylan Too said...

This was a wonderful post! I'm glad you ended up enjoying the season!

Karen At Home said...

I am sorry you had a rough time this Christmas Shannon, but glad that you were able to quickly turn things around! I can complete relate though too, this Christmas was really overwhelming for me too, I had so many hopes and expectations and feel like it was one big epic fail. I think I got wrapped up too in all of the unimportants and missed the whole meaning. I think the lesson I learned is start everything earlier!!! Especially now that Jillian's birthday is the same time now, that just made things even crazier. I am so glad to see you back my friend, you have been missed!

Karen

Lindsay said...

This is just what I needed to hear this morning. So glad to be back and following you! Happy new year my sweet friend!

melifaif said...

I am so happy to hear you captured Christmas and the spirit of it all before it was gone. Happy New Year Shannon. Great reminder and message...and a fabulous picture!

Gwen said...

Thank you for visiting my blog today!!! It's always wonderful to meet new friends!!!

I love Christmas. I used to love the decorations, etc. but now I think I would love it more without all of the work. By the second week in December I'm ready to put everything away and have my house back to normal. But the shopping and wrapping and parties all still get me super excited!!!

Glad you have over come your "holiday blues". Best wishes to you and your family for a fabulous 2011!!

XOXO

Traci said...

Christmas is my favorite time of the year but every year AFTER Christmas I always get bummed out. Like it was all just a huge let down. I try every year not to let this happen but so far no luck. I'm glad you didn't miss Christmas! Happy New Year!

Jen said...

WE all said more than once this year...It just doesn't feel like Christmas.
You are right....the meaning of Christmas is meant for all year. We are longing for what we cannot find just at Christmas...that is why it feels wierd I guess.
Happy New Year!
Hugs back to you!

Nicole said...

Thank you. I've struggled with not getting bogged down with the "to dos" since becoming a mother. This year, I vowed to get the list done early, say "no" to extra obligations, and "yes" to the fun relaxing ones, and yet I still struggled with a little bit of that feeling this year. I'm even having a hard time getting motivated for the new year. Thanks again for your honesty. Refreshing.

Christina said...

I love Christmas a little more now that I am a parent. As an adult it had kind of lost its luster to me until I had our son. Now it's been a slow battle with Mr to get him into the "cheery" spirit to decorate and such when Christmas comes around. Like I said slow, and often times painful! But he's getting there. I just like being with family and seeing my loved ones happy :)

Kim | It's All Reitz said...

I was wondering about you, hoping you were okay! This is a great post. I'm glad you ended up enjoying the holiday with your darling family.

Randi said...

Beautifully written. Thank you Shannon. That is probably the way most of us feel but we are afraid to say it or admit it.

Thanks for the reminder and I plan to be better prepared next year!

~Randi

Same Sweet Girl: Memoir of a Southern Belle said...

I feel like you were speaking right to me girl. I felt the EXACT same way this year. I wasn't even looking forward to Christmas. Now looking back (I know it wasn't that long ago) I really enjoyed the time with my family and realized that it isn't about money, decorations...etc. It's about love. :)

Terri said...

Beautiful post today Shannon! If you remember, please re-post it next Christmas, before all the hoopla begins to remind us all of this! Blessings to you and yours!

Kristy said...

Great post! Thanks for keeping it real!!

Tales from the Trails said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog. I enjoy meeting new ladies and can't wait to follow your adventures.

Stop by anytime.

Love your post.

Cool Gal said...

What a fantastic post. It sounds familiar.

Christmas can be very stressful, but you're so right in regards to the meaning. It really is all about family and friends and the memories we make with those who are near and dear.

This year, again, we have made wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.

Jenn said...

That's exactly how I felt this Christmas. SO glad you wrote this. I too seem to get caught up in the "stuff" that's not important, but this year I stopped myself.

When you look deep within yourself you'll find what you're longing for... what you're missing... and hopefully like you and I before it's too late.

It's funny how you get that little feeling inside, the one that tells you something just isn't quite right. We often ignore that little feeling, but lately that's what I've been listening to and it feels so... right. :)

You've got an award to pick up on my side of the tracks... though you may already deservingly have it!

Kristin said...

What a beautiful post! Christmas has certainly taken on a whole new meaning since I became a mama!