Moving on....

This photo was taken today as we made our way home after
spending Christmas in Bend, Oregon with my parents.
{didn't think I did the brewpub trucker hat did ya?}

Do you see the smile on my face?

I have mixed emotions about Christmas.....
too complicated to get into today.....
but reflecting today during our snowy {slow} drive home,
it boils down to this:

I prefer life's small moments, the moments
that often don't seem like a big deal; like an opportunity to have
Starbucks with my teen along with a really good talk, baking
cookies in my kitchen with my tween, the unexpected night
out with my hubby, a good family dinner or one shared with friends, coffee with a friend........
you get the picture.

Christmas seems like such a big production that for someone 
like me, who prefers the small, the BIGNESS only drown's out
all the small and precious for me......FOR ONE WHOLE MONTH. I am 'off',
not myself, cranky {ask my family}.  Isn't that a bummer?

I question mankind's motives.  Why on the occasion of Christ's
birth must we decorate the house perfectly, entertain every family 
member and friend, tip everyone who serves our needs year round,
gift our loving teachers, family members, children,
give to the needy, attend extra worship services, 'fluff' the children
with new holiday finery, bake insane amounts of cookies,
assist the children with making homemade gifts for
all who love them, host an ornament exchange/cookie exchange/
white elephant exchange/some-kind of exchange..............
Just think, if you were to do any of the above mentioned
acts during any other month you would qualify for a
"random act of kindness"!

Don't get me wrong, I love the sentiment involved with ALL
of the above mentioned activities, however, if we are really
celebrating the birth of our Savior, shouldn't we practice these
acts year-round?  Or at least when we have a soccer/dance/basketball-free
Saturday?  Shouldn't we remember children without toys, or more
importantly, parents who are unable to give them toys during the months other
than the one that begins with the letter 'D'?  

So with that, I will leave you with the following words......

Happy New Year!

19 comments on "Moving on...."
  1. Well put! It is refreshing to hear someone say that it doesn't have to be perfect, especially in the blog world. We should be practicing acts of kindness and giving year round. Your post is a good reminder to slow down and enjoy the small stuff! Good stuff! Have a wonderful new year!

  2. AMEN!! You read my mind and said it so WELL........HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  3. I have to say Jill. You hit the nail right on the head. You put words so many of my feelings. I too love the small moments. Have a happy new year!!

  4. I am so with you Jill and struggle every year to keep it all in perspective (makes me crabby too). Writing a blog makes it doubly hard as I feel I need to share my holiday decor and preparations (which I scaled back greatly in doing this year on the blog.) When my kids were younger, we stopped doing the gifts for needy families in December (as I agreed with your feelings) in favor of working in a soup kitchen each month. Now that my kids are teenagers, we rarely find time for even that. The pressure to do and create the perfect Holiday is too much and the spirit behind it is lost in the consumerism that has overtaken the season. I am sure many feel this way but it is almost sacrilege to come out and say it, so bravo to you for helping us go there! Be in the moment, do good all year and simplify, those are great goals for starting a new year!
    Cathy @ Room Rx

  5. Perfect!!! I could not agree with you more!I love the everyday normal days and all the little things!

    Love your blog!

  6. Well said, when I read your post it really hit home because I realized that is exactly how I feel. I am so grateful for life's everyday moments.

  7. I totally agree with you. We put too much pressure on ourselves and place too much emphasis on things that aren't really what it should be all about. Happy New Year!

  8. Last week, someone asked me if I was stressed. I was not. You see, I'm a schoolteacher and lots of folks around me were feeling pressure since we worked through the 21st.

    Our Christmas is a quiet one. Yes we have some people over earlier in the month, yes we go see a few different Christmas shows at churches, yes we spend time with family. But only when we want to, not because we have to.

    There are so many "supposed" to, I can't buy into. So I don't.

    Some people think that's Scroogelike, I think it's healthy.

    As for random acts of kindness, I like to call them intentional acts of kindness. Perhaps they're randomly spaced, but the thought behind them is purposeful and good.

    Happy new year to you all too!

  9. So so true!! We've made Christmas into something that has nothing to do with Christ. And I am guilty. Just "pinned" this so I can refer back to it and really ponder it. :)

  10. Jill, I agree with you totally. Several years ago, my husband and I decided not to exchange gifts at Christmas. At first it was a little strange (and sad), but now I'm used to it. I also decorate the house just enough to bring cheer into our home and I shrug off any urges to do more. For coworkers, I make baked goods and candies to give, which is what I enjoy doing. All of this has made Christmas a relaxing and pleasant time of year for me.

    My husband and I also deliver groceries to low-income seniors every month. It's great seeing the big smiles on their faces. This month we made our deliveries the Saturday before Christmas and bought them hams and the makings for a nice dinner. That's what the season is all about. Giving to those who really need it, and getting nothing but warm feelings in return.

  11. I feel the same way! I almost feel guilty when it's Dec 26th and I'm ready to clear the house of all the Christmas decor and get back to real life which includes all the blessings to be thankful for in our everyday life :) Thanks for putting it in perspective!

  12. SO true... It's our daily walk that matters and those small moments can turn into big ones for the recepient. And how often do we leave a Christmas gathering disappointed that it didn't live up to what we expected. Really it's just that we forgot Who we are celebrating. Thanks for your honesty.

  13. :) Well said. I think my kids need more happy memories. Not the crabby MOM memories. I tried very hard this year to scale back on everything. It was way better and next year Ill be sure to do it this way again.
    Happy New Year!

  14. I totally agree with you. We take a family vacation every year for Christmas and go small on the gifts. I used to think that would change when our kids have children, but I like the small. The best part of the vacation this year was not the location although it was gorgeous, but the fact that our son and daughter did not have one unkind word for one another. That was a gift in itself!

    The day we got back from vacation I saw a sign nailed to a tree near our house said, "the season of giving and kindness". At first I smiled and then I shook my head. Why is there a season of kindness? Shouldn't it be all the time.

    I hope you have a lot of "small" moments and year of kindness.

  15. Agree with you...I thought it was just because I was getting older! Thanks for writing it, enjoy your blog!

  16. I'm with ya on this one. I love Christmas because I love what it represents but as our world has forgotten to include Christ in Christmas and the expectations of what a wonderful family Christmas "should" be becomes farther and farther out of reach I am always glad when December 26th rolls around and life can return to normal.

  17. Sounds like you are
    singing to the choir,
    Jill, and I'm with you
    and all of them. I am
    most definitely a small
    moments gal. Every year
    I seem to be boiling down
    the season a bit more
    to align those feelings
    with the activities that
    we choose.

    Of course, next year it
    is MY turn to host Christmas
    at our house, so we'll see
    how able I am to continue
    paring down! And, it will
    be Elizabeth's first X-mas
    home from college, so I'll
    want small moments with
    her but also to make a big
    'ol wonderful memory for

    Happy New Year!

    xo Suzanne

  18. Wow Jill....well said! Couldn't agree more. Just found your blog today...love it!

    Have a good one...


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