I love this time of year. I enjoy some cold weather. I enjoy trying to think up great gifts for friends and family – especially Terry! He’s hard to buy for and to surprise! Last year, I shocked him by getting him a bi-pod for his gun. And he thought I didn’t know about guns! (Well, I don’t, but I’m observant! I saw him eyeing one at the store once!) I love the food, the decorations, the food, the music, the lights, the food…well, you get the idea. I love it all!
The down side is, that when it’s time to take down the decorations and lights, turn off the music and start losing the weight from all the food, that I can get very melancholy. I feel like it was all over so fast! I was so excited about it, and then it’s over, that fast! I’ve been looking back at all the photos of past Christmases and I can’t believe how much my kids have changed! It’s already been almost a year since Laci was born! I guess I’m just “female”! I go from up to down so quickly. And when I get down, it’s hard for me to get back up again!
Because I’m aware of the “get excited, have the event, get blue pattern” (or my “holiday letdown pattern”, I’ve developed a “holiday letdown response system.” Or, H.L.R.S. for short. My system is simple: have something fun planned to do after the big day! I am blessed to have an anniversary on January 2nd. My Hubby and I try to go out to eat that day, or do something together. But, that sort of blends in with the other holidays, so I try to plan something else after that. Maybe I plan to go to the mall to spend some Christmas money (I hate to admit this, but I don’t buy clothes! I usually buy books!), or a trip to the library, or I may plan to call a friend and visit. I plan something. Something that I can immediately shift my focus to after the holidays.
I am also prone to look back at the past all year long. I look back at old photos and think about when the kids were smaller. I think about the friends and family that I never see, I think about my Dad and I feel like I didn’t get to have him long enough – though I know others who’ve lost parents when they were younger than I, I still wish I’d had him longer. I remember the great Christmases Mom and Dad gave me, and on and on I go until I’m in tears! It’s not pretty! But, I’ve developed a system for those times too! When I feel that way, I remember Phil. 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Now, I know Paul was probably saying that we should forget the mistakes of the past and move forward, and that’s so true. But I also have to forget the good times. I can’t dwell on the happy memories of yesteryear, because I begin to feel like I’ll never be happy again, that life stinks, oh-poor-me, and so forth. After all, if I stay in that mood, I certainly am not getting anything done for Christ. No, I have to forget those good times (temporarily) and move forward, making new happy memories, today. Yesterday is over. I’m so glad I got to live it, and there are times I can look back and not feel so blue, but I need to focus on today. What can I do today for my kids? How can I invest my life today so that it impacts eternity? How can I help you today? This is the stuff the Christian life is made of: giving ourselves to Him, so that someday, we can stand in Heaven with no sorrow, no regret, and no “holiday blues” – but with satisfaction of a life lived wholly for Him.
Do you have a Holiday Letdown Response System? I sure couldn’t make it without mine!
Happy [after] the holidays to you,