Every year I have the same goal for my Holiday season. My goal is to spend more time focusing on Christ, teaching my children about generosity and love, spending family time, and TRY not to overdo the “stuff” of the secular part of this Merry time of year.
Every year I seem to fall short of this goal.
Last year I was going to a confession after the Holidays had passed. I was irritated at the entitlement it seemed my children had, I was bitter at the amount of clean up the Holidays seem to require, I was resentful of how many long hours my husband worked. I didn’t have this warm fuzzy feeling of after Christmas joy. I had stuff overload. I had exhaustion with overcommitment.
I was not my best self… by a long shot.
The priest gave me a simple recipe for revival.
Gratitude. He Suggested I keep a journal and scribble down 5 things I was thankful for at the end of each day.
I did this for several weeks. Some days I was thankful for a toothbrush, my bed, a hug, a cold glass of water, etc. Some days I was thankful for larger things like my four children and my loving husband. But whether I was thankful for big or small things, this practice of gratitude showed me that my focus had been on myself and not on the good around me. The practice of going to sleep while focusing on what was good about my day did in fact re-boot me.
Jesus came into this world to give us new life.
Whatever the Holiday season brings, it can always bring new hope. It can always bring love. It can always bring joy. We just have to find the focus.
So, my prayer this post-Christmas season is for better focus… and I am thankful for that priest and his lovely invitation to be thankful.