I have a confession. I have not taken my own advice…
In my previous blog Stop, Slow Down (and bin the #elfontheshelf) I urged people to try and just focus on the few things they want to do, so they can enjoy Christmas Day without the stress.
Christmas is beckoning and with it the various responsibilities we must shoulder. Like other parents I’ve been juggling trying to meet the needs of my children with attempting to organise all of Christmas by myself, as well as working.
This morning, in a wave of exhaustion and fear I couldn’t get it all done, I asked a friend what I should do. She didn’t laugh at the list I showed her. Instead, she asked ‘what are your three true priorities?’. So I told her. Then I watched as she crossed off three quarters of my Absolutely Have To Do List and replaced them with ‘true priorities’.
She had whittled my 20 or so to-do list, to just three true priorities, things that actually mean something.
So today, my priority was to see my daughter’s carol service, because Christmas should be all these lovely extra bits. We should enjoy seeing our children in these performances, they’ve rehearsed a lot and it means so much to them when we come.
It made me so happy watching her sing her songs. Sadly, there is a lot of unhappiness around Christmas. Many people I know have lost someone close to them and Christmas always makes us remember those people who won’t be around our table this year.
2015 in particular seems to come with a caveat on happiness. There’s a growling underbelly of the reality of terrorism, something we can’t ignore.
So I urge you, instead of running around, instead of berating yourself over the cards you’ve forgotten to send, instead of worrying over the cake you were meant to ice, or the biscuits you were meant to bake for teachers, just stop.
Consider what is a true priority for you and your family. Watch your beautiful children sing their lovely off key songs. Enjoy your Sheep, Donkeys and Marys.
Be still. Watch. Listen. Enjoy. That is the true meaning of Christmas.
I’m going to try and take my own advice too – promise.