By Judy Christie.
When I was a girl, I was shopping at a Woolworth’s store that came complete with a costume-jewelry counter and a ring-sizer that looked like an old-fashioned telephone dial.
Curious, I put my finger into a variety of holes until I found one that seemed to fit. But when I tried to take my finger out, it would not budge.
The ring-sizer was stuck on my hand.
After a moment of panic, I turned to walk toward my mother for rescue — and felt myself jerked back to the counter. The ring-sizer was chained to the counter. I was chained to the counter!
Before it was over, my mother, little brother, store clerk and manager were trying to free me.
It was not one of my finer moments.
In the midst of this busy, holy, wonderful, hectic season, I think of how hurry and worry can chain us – just like that – to Christmas activities and attitudes that don’t work. By pausing to consider new approaches, however, we can change our lives – and help those around us look at Christmas differently.
Imagine that through our small, individual heartfelt efforts we might show our families and friends and co-workers and church members a new and better approach to Christmas. In that way, each of us can change the world in a much-needed way.
To get started, ten tips to hurry less and worry less at Christmas:
* List a few words that you want to describe your Christmas season.
* Keep those words in mind as you make daily Christmas decisions.
* You can’t do everything. When you say “no” to one thing, you say “yes” to something else.
* Less is more: Don’t over-schedule, overeat and overspend.
* Quit fretting about having the perfect gift, perfect house or perfect meal. Relax and enjoy being with people you love.
* Start each day with thanksgiving. Focus on blessings and what is going well. Expect the best.
* Throw out an old tradition that no longer works for you. Life changes, and you can move forward with joy.
* Include worship in your routine. Don’t let church get lost in to-do lists and mall visits. Consider a personal Advent study during your quiet time or with a small group.
* Weave small comforts, such as listening to Christmas music, into your daily routine.
* Seek ways to serve those around you, through volunteering, listening, praying for them. Be open to recognizing those who need extra care during this season.
I’d love to hear your tips for enjoying each day more during the Christmas season. May you be blessed with less hurried and less worried days now and into the New Year – and may you Inspire a Fire in the world around you.
About the author: Judy Christie writes fiction and nonfiction from her home in North Louisiana, where she likes to visit on the Kitchen Couch or sit in the porch swing and read. She’s the author of the Green series of novels about a big-city journalist who winds up running a small-town newspaper, and Wreath, a young adult novel about a teenager who lives in a junkyard. Judy also writes the Hurry Less Worry Less nonfiction series, including the brand-new edition of Hurry Less Worry Less at Christmas, which includes an Advent study for individuals and groups and recipes.
To visit with Judy, sign up for her free newsletter at www.judychristie.com. You can also find her at www.facebook.com/judychristie and at www.Twitter.com/judypchristie. For free weekly tips on how to slow down and enjoy each day, check out her podcast at http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/hurry-less-worry-less/id435253514.