December came fast, former procrastinators! The calendar propels us to our now traditional “Christmas Calculations” that help us set priorities and pace ourselves so we and those we love can better enjoy the season.
I can go through the motions of celebration without a heart or mind that enters into the festivities. I can check the boxes of events and tasks that make things “beautiful” and “special” without entering into the wonder of this season myself.
Maybe we run on automatic and overload because as women we feel responsible to make things happen. Cooking, shopping, driving to rehearsal, baking, sewing costumes, making travel plans, decorating.
The wonder is not the twinkle of lights or loveliness of music. The wonder is Jesus Himself.
When we run on automatic and overload, we miss Him. He misses us.
Christmas Calculations help us be realistic. They help us be available to Jesus and others and enjoy the celebration.
- Write down everything you need or want to do before Christmas.
- Count the number of days on the calendar until December 25 or the day you need to be ready. It’s a “fantasy” number.
- Go back and count the number of days you can actually work on Christmas chores. Eliminate days with commitments that will prevent you from working, or count them as partial days. If you’re employed, you may need to count hours.
- Examine your list to see if you can actually accomplish all you have in mind given the reality of the time actually available to you.
- Eliminate parts of your list. See what you can simplify.
- Can you fit your new plan into the time you have? Reevaluate.
- Build in margin – rest, cushion for the unexpected. Of course, there’ll be overlap, but as much as possible, give each thing its own focus.
This reality check helps us avoid cramming in activity and enables us to “get the goody” out of each one we do. We can laugh while we’re baking cookies, hum with the carols in the store, sit with our Bibles and ponder the Lord we celebrate.
How many actual work days do you have until Christmas?