Merry Christmas, and the priorities we keep this time of year

Merry Christmas blog readers. I know it is a little early to say Merry Christmas, we are still in the midst of those last few final days of preparation and for me at least, there is still lots to do.

In my guest room there are gifts to be wrapped, there's work to be finished, food to be made, cards to finish mailing out and relatives who we want to spend every minute we are able to with while they are visiting this holiday season.

So in the midst of all this business and preparation, on my heart and mind this year are the things we prioritize at Christmastime. For me it is easy to prioritize the tasks. Get the family photo, make sure we have all the gifts for all the people, wrapped and ribboned and all. Accomplish all the many things that I feel I need to accomplish in order to make this Christmas successful.

But those things, important as they may seem, are not what makes Christmas a success or not. Time spent with loved ones, true rest and coziness, magical delights of the season, time for prayer and worship, these are the things that really matter and that ought to be made the priority.

I have had to intentionally guard my time, and not over plan things, or focus too much on the things that need to get done so that I can say yes to the things that truly matter like extra time with family members and enjoying playing with my children and seeing their delight in the joys of this season.

We made a special pilgrimage yesterday to the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, and it was completely unplanned. We are not the kind of people who generally go do spontaneous big things, far-ish away from home, unplanned with three small children. But it's a season of saying yes and trying such things and we had the time and just enough energy and the trip was truly magical.

So my message to you this Christmas season friends, is leave room to prioritize what matters, and don't focus on what doesn't. Ignore the bad and embrace the good, and leave enough time in your day to go about things in a relaxed way. This is the way that you will truly enjoy things, not be overbooked and overstressed at what is meant to be the most joyful and special time of the year.

Merry Christmas to you all,