Oh the joys of Christmas! The lights, the smells, the twinkle in my children's eyes. And the responsibilities, the crowds, the pressure that I put on myself to do things, make things, give things.
I have not been feeling the season this year.
Part of it is my daughter. 'Lil is just. so. HARD. sometimes. I haven't let myself call her anything more than determined (though her special ed preschool teacher laughed when I said that, and said that was a VERY nice way to describe how stubborn she is).
But more than once this month, in an attempt to not scream like a banshee, I've sent everyone downstairs with a movie on, and cranked Christmas music super loud to drown out all the bad.
It's worked - sort of. I've calmed down, but I still haven't felt the Christmas spirit.
I always give presents to many people - friends, neighbors, family. This year I've been fine to get things together for my kids and hubby, but every time I go to do more than plan a gift for someone else, I just put it off more and more and more. The other day I realized that I was resenting this whole gift thing. No one is making me give presents - no one but myself. I resented myself for being selfless in other years and expecting it of myself this year.
Selfishness has been a bit of a problem this year. I was being Scrooge.
Enter Saturday night. My wonderful sister took four of us to a Messiah sing along.
It was fabulous.
The soloists did more than sing notes - they sang the story. I felt the power of that inspired piece of music. I fumbled along as we sang A a a a a a a a A a a a a A ------------ men over and over and over, and felt the power in my soul of the truthfulness of our Savior. I mentally connected that "blessing and honour, glory and power" and felt my testimony deep within my soul remind my natural self of just why I've always loved giving to others.
I left that performance inspired - full of love and the Spirit of Christmas.
My only regret - it was too late to make those 6 loaves of bread for my neighbors that night. But don't worry, I have a plan today. I'm off to play with flour and yeast and bring that joy to others.