Monday, December 6, 2010

P4E.192 Note to Self: IT'S THE HOLIDAYS!


A note to self: Please remember IT'S THE HOLIDAYS! You have spiritually wrecked so many of them that I think it's wise and necessary to give you some reminders:
  1. The word "holiday" is derived from the Old English word hāligdæg meaning "holy day." Please try to remember this original meaning in your attitude during the holidays. Your attitude is everything. You can make the holidays bright and cheerful or (as you've done so many times before) make them dark and unpleasant for everyone around you.
  2. Please remember to value "People Over Things." It's so easy to get caught up in the capitalism of the times (remember the signs people were holding at the Seattle Christmas tree lighting ceremony that said "BUY MORE STUFF!"?) that you need to remember what's important. The spirits of your wife and children first.
  3. Watch what you do with your eyes. The ladies are all dressed up to attract attention even more during the holidays. The mall is a particularly obvious place where both advertising and the lady shoppers themselves scream for attention. Please remember that you are a married man and also Jesus' words "that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." That is not what you want for the holidays (or any other time for that matter).
  4. You have a tendency to be angry, frustrated and impatient. Period. The stress of the holidays increases this tendency. Being in crowds of people increases this tendency. Being tired increases this tendency. Your perceived lack of money increases this tendency. Driving during the holidays increases this tendency. Being in a hurry increases this tendency. When things don't go as planned or go completely wrong increases this tendency. Remember "He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly." Stay calm. Be flexible. Go with the flow. Go back to reminder #2.
  5. Slow down. Be fully present wherever you are. Don't try to multi-task (like talking on the phone, texting, or reading) when you're supposed to be having a good time with your family and friends. Give them your full attention so that they know how much you care about them. Don't be thinking about what comes next. They go by quickly, so enjoy the moment at hand.
  6. Speed up. You tend to lollygag. There's a lot to do and get done before and during the holidays. Don't dawdle! Don't procrastinate. If you want the holidays to be meaningful, then there's a lot of planning that you should have already done by now. So, get to it.
  7. Guard your heart and spirit. Guard the hearts and spirits of your family. Kim, you can be lazy and when you're lazy you stop being diligent. You get dull and callous. You need to step up your protection mode of your own spirit and that of your wife and children. As much as possible, you need to step in front of things, places, people, and circumstances that have the potential to harm the enjoyment of the holidays and shield those you hold dear from them.
  8. Be Happy! Remember the line in "A Charlie Brown Christmas." "'re the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem...Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you're the Charlie Browniest." Well, that's you! So, focus on the positive and be happy!
  9. Stay connected with your wife. You need to keep her informed of your plans. You can get distracted by visitors and forget that you're supposed to be helping her. If you're out together stay together. Don't get pulled away by other people or things. You need to stay in contact so she knows where you are and who you're with and what you're doing. Remember, you and she are ONE.
  10. Keep the Christ in Christmas. As Dickens said, Honor Christmas in your heart throughout the holidays and beyond. Live in the Past, the Present and the Future and let the Spirits of all three strive within you. Don't shut out the lessons that they teach.
(If you get anything out of my Note to Self, so much the better. God Bless.)

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