— 1 —
Okay, Christmas is in 12 weeks, and I’m determined not to be all stressed during the holiday season this year. I’ve identified my top three time- and energy-sucks that make me lose sight of the meaning of the season:
- Making the list of whom to get presents for. I spend weeks agonizing about where to draw the line in terms of gift-giving.
- Waffling about which presents to get everyone. I always feel like all my gift ideas are boring and unoriginal, and think that if I just wait a few more days I’ll encounter THE PERFECT GIFT IN ALL THE UNIVERSE, discounted 80%.
- Clutter. I walk around with this low-grade dread of bringing the new haul of presents back to the house after Christmas morning, because I feel like we’re already bursting at the seams. Also, I throw up my hands about decorating because I feel like you won’t even be able to see the Advent wreath among all the other junk on the mantle.
I’m going through each of these and figuring out what I do about them in October and November. What are your top Christmas stressors? Anything you can start doing now to make it easier?
— 2 —
Let me get in touch with my “web marketer” roots for a moment to say: if you have a blog or are thinking about starting one, you should read this post about how to have a great blog. It’s excellent. I thought point #4 (“know your story”) was particularly insightful. (Wish I could remember where I found it — sorry for the lack of hat tip!)
— 3 —
Speaking of which, I think this is a great idea for a site: this blogger offers plans for making five dinners in one hour. I think that’s a great example of a clearly-focused, useful content. My bet is that the author will make some money with that site, and probably get a book deal. (Sorry, can’t remember who told me about this one either. I’m slightly scatter-brained this week.)
— 4 —
Now let me balance all that marketing talk with something enriching: Sister Bridget Haase (who encouraged us to “SPAH-kle with self-forgetfulness“) was on fire again on Relevant Radio this week, talking about some saintly person who went through the following criteria before saying anything:
- Is what I am about to say true?
- Is it necessary to say it? (Because silence is golden.)
- Is it kind? (Even hard truths may be phrased charitably or at least calmly, mildly and matter-of-factly.)
It was humbling to consider how drastically my verbal and written output would be cut if I always followed those rules.
— 5 —
I switched to Google Chrome this week. It’s like a new world; like going from a phonograph to an iPod. The only downside is that it makes it a lot more tempting to waste time on the internet.
— 6 —
For the first time in my life as a parent, I’m one of those moms who runs around in the car a lot. It’s a big change to have to pick up my son from his new part-time school every day! On the plus side, it’s been fantastic for my prayer life: every day I arrive a few minutes early, put some music on the back speakers for the little kids, and pray the Rosary. I now really look forward to my moments before school lets out, sitting in the car and meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary. It’s brought a lot of grace into my life.
— 7 —
Speaking of which, I’ve been praying hard for blogging friend Bonnie, whose infant James is in a very precarious state, as well as for the continued recovery of my friend Abby‘s baby, Tess. Whom are you praying for these days?
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