The holiday rush begins

47465559 - christmas tree.

I don’t know about you, but I am not ready for December to be here! Holy Cow! The year has flown by and now we have 23 days until Christmas. Are you ready? I have the tree up and trimmed and the stockings hung over the fireplace. My grandchildren were here this past weekend and so we had to get the tree. It really is a delight to have small children around trimming the tree, and they most definitely hung the stockings with care. They get so excited. Their joy is contagious.

I have done a little on-line Christmas gift shopping in the last 2 days, but that’s it. The nativity scene isn’t out on the mantle yet. I have purchased the Christmas cards, but haven’t started them. I guess I shouldn’t fret about that since it is only December 2nd. The Thanksgiving cheesecake I made for a friend, which was not made until after Thanksgiving, mind you, is still undelivered. I guess late is better than not at all. This is on my to-do list for tomorrow.

As you can tell I am beginning to feel the pinch on just how much has to be done before the Big Day. Do you have a ton of things on your holiday To Do list? Do you have to scramble or are you able to fit it all in without pulling your hair out? Best wishes to you for a peaceful and productive month.

Each year I try to simplify. And each year I plan to start things earlier. Well, I guess in some respects, I did. I already have the wrapping paper and the cards. That is a start, meager though it is. I have always started my Christmas shopping in July, but this year was a bit too broke. I just don’t appreciate the fact that the calendar sneaks up on me and when I turn around Thanksgiving has come and gone! When it gets to Thanksgiving time, I would like the calendar to roll back a month. I just need a little more time. But since it hasn’t cooperated with my request here I am.

I have decided that this year I am going to add more service to my celebration. I think service will make the holiday season a lot better. Our church has started a 25 days of Christmas service initiative based on the life of the Savior Jesus Christ, who is the focus of my holiday.

I would like to list a few here for you that might be something you would like or be able to do.

  • Call, not text, your parents. My father is in heaven as you know. But my precious mother is still alive and I confess that it has been a while since I have called her. Shame on me!
  • Find an old pair of eyeglasses and donate them to a vision charity. Here in Southern California, we have the Lions Club that provides glasses for those in need.
  • Point out a virtue in someone they don’t see in themselves.
  • Donate non-perishable items to a food bank. Most grocery stores have a bin in which to place items.
  • Invite a neighbor on a tight budget over dinner. You are fixing dinner anyway. Why not just add another place setting at the table.
  • Spend 1 on 1 time with each of your children or grandchildren.

These are inexpensive ideas that will make the lives of others and yourself much happier. A little time and a little money, like for the food donation, are all that are required. And though I have been lamenting that there is not enough time until Christmas, even I can fit these things in.

If you would like the whole list of service activities for the 25 days of Christmas please let me know. Or, if you would like, you can go directly to mormon.org and find the heading for “Light of the World.”

And while you are serving others, don’t forget it is okay to give yourself a little service time. You can’t share with others out of an empty well. The rule of thumb on an airplane is to apply your own oxygen mask and then you are in a position to help others with their masks. I have some easy and pleasant ideas for serving yourself in the following Sugar and Spice Advice column.

I wish you a very merry holiday season!

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