OPINION

The Simple Life: And So It Begins

Trish Morgan
Special to the News Tribune
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Trish Morgan

And so it begins. The decorating, the list-making, the shopping and wrapping, baking and cooking, and the endless house cleaning and planning of meals. There are also many hours devoted to Christmas parades and community cantatas, hard tac candy making, pageants and plays, church services, events in the little towns in our area, and the activities revolving around children who want to share their wish lists with Santa Claus.

Many of us have our own traditions and our own ways of getting ready for Christmas and New Year's, and sometimes there can be the added stress of having so many things to do in addition to regular life. It certainly can become overwhelming at times.

This wild and crazy perfectionist and over-achiever gets herself in trouble quite often during the month of December. This author, as you know as Trish, is prone to bite off more than she can chew - believing she is some kind of "wonder woman" or something! Someone just HAS to convince her to slow down, enjoy each day, and don't spend the hours filled with numerous responsibilities. It's the beginning of December, and "to-do" lists and calendars and Google reminders are EVERYWHERE already!

Truthfully, though, this year is a lot different than scores of years before. I have made a commitment to myself to take great care in not to over-schedule, and not to weigh myself down with too many things in too short of a period of time.

For example, I have already stopped taking orders for Christmas cookie trays for Christmas week. I am full. I have also pulled together a group of 132 generous-minded folks who are all going to contribute to making a magical Christmas for two families - one with two little boys, ages 2 and 4, and another with two girls ages 2 and 14. We all just give a little, and no one is expected to break the bank, so to speak. It's just a meaningful way to be anonymous givers, and that makes the heart grow bigger than ever before.

I've decided to be much more frugal this year with my grandchildren. In years' past, Nana has tended to go hog-wild, but not this year. The gifts will be much more special this year, and instead of the number of packages, it will be about what matters most.

As far as decorating, we're going to make it a family affair, and it's been years and years since it's been done that way. Keeping it more simple and less perfect and elaborate is the goal. I'm running behind with organizing the decorating, so next week we will get out the tree and the trimmings, and get busy.

This year, I am playing Mrs. Santa Claus, so if you'd like a special phone call to your kids, grands or other special littles, message me on Facebook and we can get a time scheduled. There is a nominal cost of $5. Mrs. Claus is also working with the Mister this season, and Santa is writing special hand-printed letters to kiddos that they will find on Christmas morning. If you'd like to order one of these letters, hit me up on Facebook. Spots are filling up, so get your order in soon. There is a nominal fee of $10 per family. Can you imagine the look in these littles' eyes when they see and read a "real" hand-printed letter from Santa Claus himself???!!

Let's not forget to celebrate this time of year when baby Jesus was born. A really nice tradition your family could start is reading together the book of Luke in the New Testament of the Bible. There are 24 chapters, and you could catch up and read one chapter every night together up through Christmas Eve. Wouldn't that be a special family activity? Then afterwards, tuck the children into bed with a hug and a big "I love you, and Jesus loves you." I just love that whole idea.

And so it begins. The busiest month of the year - when we all can take the opportunity to be thankful, thoughtful and generous. Above all, be kind. We never know what goes on behind closed doors. Be kind...and show love and grace.

Until next week...God's blessings.