Christmas season – a time of twinkle lights, candy canes, presents, Christmas songs, and so much cussing.
Or is that just me?
On the off chance you too celebrate the season, and simultaneously feel overwhelmed by the demand, the noise, the expectations, and the almost-steroid-induced-like frenzy so many of us reach over shopping for the perfect present, this is a safe place.
Allow me to be a voice of encouragement – you’re not alone! If your fa-la-la-ing, and your “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!”-ing all comes sprinkled with some salty monologuing, I see you. I hear you.
It’s the dang hardest time of the year.
The deeper the dive I do into being Christian, the milder my language. Get off your phone, you dummy! That BOZO is holding up the entire store! If that witch thinks she can dictate one more holiday rule to me… You get the gist. PG to PG-13, sure, but the feeling remains the same.
On my way to the grocery tonight, at 5:30pm, on Saturday, when I imagine most of God’s children are tucked up at home, in front of a NCAA televised sporting event, or at their favorite neighborhood chain restaurant, getting swindled into an appetizer and dessert they didn’t want in the first place because it’s “a deal,” I actually discovered everyone was out on the road.
Everyone and their mother.
Driving 15 minutes to the good Kroger, cars abounded. Cars at all the fast food eateries, cars at all the sit-down eateries, cars at the OK Food City, cars at Party City, cars at Advance Auto Parts, cars everywhere, all making sudden right-hand turns without using a blinker.
To my Savior and myself, I queried, “Lord Jesus, why are all these people out?”
I can only assume it’s Holy Spirit speaking when I remember, it’s Christmas. The people are moved to be amongst one another in the public places.
It is a terrible situation for those of us who just want to get our mixed nuts, and our fizzy water, and get home. to our house. away from them.
Stay hopeful, folks. This too will pass. The busy, the frenzy, the stress-eating. Yes, its where we live right now. But it is not forever.
Jim’s dog, Radar, a small, Jack Russell-Chihuahua kind of guy, loves being under blankets. This is something I’ve never experienced with a dog, preferring canines of the linebacker variety over the more diminutive lady gymnast stature of Radar. Previous dogs I’ve loved were too big for furniture, let alone blankets.
Radar’s proclivity for blankets and cuddles thrills Dorothy and me. Jim’s used to it. But we females throw up a blanket whenever we happen to be under one, and Radar happens to walk into a room. “Radar, come!” We call, patting the spot next to us voraciously, “Get under the blanket!” He springboards his squat, sausage-like physique into the place, and burrows under the blanket.
Radar prefers under the blanket: when it rains; when he’s been alone most of the day; when someone else is resting and he wants to rest too; and when he thinks our other dog is getting attention that belongs to him, and he is done with the indignity of it all.
Under the blanket is Radar’s safe place.
Should the lines be too long, the traffic too thick, the fifty-sixth version you’ve heard of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” too repetitive, I hope you will, Radar-style, find your own blanket to get under.
Maybe it’s a cup of hot tea.
Maybe it’s YouTube videos of dogs doing goofy tricks.
Maybe it’s your favorite person to snuggle on the sofa.
Maybe it’s a literal blanket, with a literal dog under it.
In my life, my tendency to “power through” or “grin and bear it” or “just keep going until Netflix doesn’t work and I almost throw something at the TV” rarely works. We need breaks, downtime, little rests.
Find your little rest, friends.
Take a pause, take five, and take a break.
A prayer, attributed to St. Francis of Assisi (that I came across on the internet, so that seems solid) sums up what I strive for during this time of wonder and overwhelm:
Lord, help me to live this day, quietly, easily;St. Francis of Assisi, Daily Prayers
to lean on your great strength, trustfully, respectfully;
to wait for the unfolding of your will, patiently, serenely;
to meet others, peacefully, joyfully;
to face tomorrow, confidently, courageously. Amen.
And, if this fails, Lord, get us to our coziest blankets, Radar-style, and help us stay under them until these dummies get off the road and go back to their houses.