From Rev. Dr. Heather H. Lear, Vice President for Grant Administration
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Or is it? With all the commitments and pressures so many of us already face, all the other holiday-related things can feel like a huge drain.
B. Janet Hibbs, Ph.D., a Philadelphia-based therapist says, “Childhood memories of gingerbread houses, decorations, wrapped presents, special foods, as well as familial and religious traditions pose unconscious expectations.” Many of us watched the women in our families bake and decorate and run around like a maniac buying gifts. So, part of the reason we might take on these activities ourselves is because it just seems normal. We have our to-do lists, shopping lists, Christmas card lists, and general mental checklists to ensure everything is perfect and sticks to the magical Christmas formula. I don’t remember my grandmother ever pausing her hostess role to sit down and enjoy the food she prepared at the one time a year our extended family was gathered.
How do we remain focused on preparing for the birth of Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us?
As we mentally scan our to-do lists and long-held traditions, what makes sense and brings expectation and joy today, when things may be new, or different or hard?