Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Jackie Stammen

12/19/2013 (9 months ago)

Laughs and Love (laughsandlove.com)

Perhaps what is lacking is perspective.

Today I heard someone say, "I think we're all just trying to get through the holidays."

What?!?!

Are the Christmas holidays stressing you out?

Are the Christmas holidays stressing you out?

Highlights

By Jackie Stammen

Laughs and Love (laughsandlove.com)

12/19/2013 (9 months ago)

Published in Blog

Keywords: advent, change your perspective, prepare your heart, preparing for the holidays, the greatest gift


Just trying to get through them? Hasn't anyone ever told you it just happens to be the greatest time of the year? Haven't you ever heard the song, "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" where the lyrics say, "it's the hap-happiest season of all?" There is truth to that, you know?

The Savior of the world was born on Christmas Day. The Savior! God in flesh came to earth to begin his thirty three years on planet earth, only to end his tenure by sacrificing everything for the salvation of our souls and forgiveness of our sins. Christmas Day, the celebration of the birth of the One True Sacrifice! I happen to think that is more than plenty of a reason to celebrate the holidays, not just survive them.

Perhaps what is lacking is perspective.

I get it. We are all busy. The holiday preparation adds to the long list of things we must do prior to Christmas and sometimes the long list is enough to paralyze people with fear and anxiety. Gifts need to be bought, parties need to be planned, meals need to be prepared, travel is often inevitable. All of these things in addition to an already busy life can seem overwhelming. if you let it.

What if, instead of looking at your list and panicking, you looked at your list and promised to change your perspective? What if you decided to change the mindset in which you completed the tasks?

What if you let go of the self-imposed burden you've placed on yourself and actually focused on love. When you are out finishing your Christmas shopping, think not of the list you need to knock out, but instead of the joy giving brings to your life and to the recipient's life.

When you are planning your party, think not of the long list of things you need to clean, prepare, and organize, but instead of what Jesus taught us about communing together - particularly around a meal. Gatherings (like holiday gatherings) bring people together. As you gather with family or friends or those at a homeless shelter or whomever you choose to gather with this holiday season, think of the condition of your heart and those around you. Allow your heart to be filled with love by those around you this holiday season.

Christmas is family time.


When you are preparing the Christmas feast, think not of how you've slaved long and hard over the meal for everyone else to enjoy, but instead think of the way a meal - crafted with love - brings people together. A special bond is built as people gather around food, just as Jesus showed us at The Last Supper.

When you begin your holiday travel, think not of the chaos you might encounter at the airport or the traffic on the roads, or the long, arduous hours you must stay awake in order to get to your destination, but instead think of the miles and the circumstances as a bridge which leads you to your loved ones.

During the last week of this Advent season, I pray you will be blessed with a patient, loving heart. I pray your heart and mind may open to a new perspective and you may call on the reasons you might have for why you prepare in the way you do for the holidays.  May you wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior and when He does come, I pray you might focus on being more like Mary and less like Martha. Be (with your heart, mind, body, and soul) in the presence of the Lord.

I suspect if we strive to prepare for Christmas in this way, we won't just be trying to 'get through the holidays,' but instead we will experience the real joy of the greatest gift we could have ever hoped for.

Laughs and Love,
Jackie:-)





Comments


More Blog

5 Easy Ways to 'Be Not Afraid'!

Image of Be not afraid, regardless of how the world appears, we must 'walk by faith, not by sight.'

By Adele M Gill, RN, BSN, CC

Be not afraid. According to the online Bible Gateway, a helpful Bible reference resource, this phrase is used 97 times in the Holy Bible, and for good reason. LOS ANGELES, CA - Amongst Judeo-Christians, people of faith have been enduring great persecution for ... continue reading


Glittery Streets...They're Never Enough Watch

Image of I am nothing with out you Lord.

By Jackie Stammen

Last fall I attended a three-day retreat on the northeast side of Nashville at Mercy Convent. It wasn't an ordinary retreat with large assemblies of people and small group sessions with lots of conversation. Nope, it was a small, silent retreat. Yup. Silent. Not just ... continue reading


Do You Treasure His Presence?

Image of There is an assurance and peace that comes with knowing God is always here.

By Michael Seagriff

My wife and I will be boarding a train later this afternoon to return home ending a nearly three week visit with our son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren. I thank God that He blessed us with this unforgettable time together. Unfortunately, my visits to the local ... continue reading


Saturday's Chore List: Mock Pro-lifers and Tell Lies Watch

Image of Let us pray for the day when no woman wants to kill her own; the day when we all see human life for the gift that it is.

By by Tara K. E. Brelinsky

Just as your boyfriend cruises closer to the clinic, you see a commotion that looks something like a circus. Then you realize it's all happening right in front of the place you need to be. There's some lady with bright orange and crayon red hair standing next to the ... continue reading


Winning the Fight By Giving Up My Will

Image of He calls us to witness to Truth and to pray for peace for the babies whose lives are lost as well as for mercy for their misguided parents.

By by Tara K. E. Brelinsky

For the remainder of my afternoon, I ruminated on the morning's event, on that internal whisper to remain undisturbed, on Father's temporarily unnatural stature and on that prompting to trust that my meager offering was enough. Turning to God's Word, I searched ... continue reading


Recalling Life-Changing Moments

Image of A moment in time where you feel and notice that, 'Yes, this is what life is about!'

By Michael Seagriff

There are times when we should just stop, sit and silently recall some of the life-changing moments we have experienced in our lives but may have buried in the stone piles of our minds. CANASTOTA, NY - My writing group recently suggested that we resurrect and record ... continue reading


Should you be waiting in prayer? Watch

Image of Sometimes it's ok to wait. Should you be waiting in prayer?

By Jackie Stammen

Lately my life has been in a place of waiting. Waiting on God. Waiting to see Him connect the dots with the things He is doing in my life. Waiting on Him to take the the blender of emotions and happenings that have been my life this year so far and see what He intends ... continue reading


'What Happened to the Zeal for the Salvation of Souls'?

Image of St. Dominic's Feast Day is August 8th.

By Michael Seagriff

Tomorrow, August 8th is the feast day of St. Dominic, the founder of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) prompts me to ask this simple question: 'What happened to the zeal for the salvation of souls'? CANASTOTA, NY - In 1946, Pope Pius XII warned us that 'The sin of ... continue reading


Learning to Make Time for the Holy Spirit

Image of We must set aside time every day to give permission to the Holy Spirit to work in us.

By Deacon Ian VanHeusen

Prosperity can be dangerous. When things are going well and we are successful, we have a tendency to turn in on ourselves. We like to believe that our prosperity and success are the results of our brilliance and our unique abilities. Although our cooperation with the ... continue reading


Are You A Walking Jesus?

Image of How do you show your love for Jesus?

By Michael Seagriff

At the time I made temporary promises as a Lay Dominican I had to select a religious name. Throughout my preparation as a postulant and novice, I had been exposed to a host of Dominican Saints and Blesseds - all worthy of emulation and whose example and name would ... continue reading


All Blog News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Job 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23
1 In the end it was Job who broke the silence and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 88:2-3, 4-5, 6, 7-8
2 may my prayer reach your presence, hear my cry for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:51-56
51 Now it happened that as the time drew near for him ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 30th, 2014 Image

St. Jerome
September 30: St. Jerome, who was born Eusebius Hieronymous Sophronius, was ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter