Friday, December 19, 2008

Rest and Relaxation

The first half of my day was just like the tile implies... I got my nails done then spent two hours getting my hair done. I needed to get my curls refreshed, and when the world has been pulling you in a million directions - what's better than spending 3 hours getting beautified?!

The second half of my day was not quite as relaxing... I tried to get some Christmas shopping done, and ya'll - seriously? What in the world happens to people in the month of December? I've never seen more people crammed into a mall in my life.

People are so caught up in buying gifts - I think that some of them forget what it's all about. Now, I could take the next few paragraphs to explain the true spiritual meaning of Christmas to you - but I believe that a good portion of my readers already know that this season is all about the celebration of Jesus' birth. My point to you tonight though is that I don't think giving gifts at Christmas is really such a bad thing.

Where we've lost focus is that people today think that it's all about getting the next big thing and going over board to the point of racking up serious credit card debt in the process. Here in the Hawkins house - we don't live like that anymore. We spend money that we've put aside for Christmas all year long, and pay cash for everything. If there is something that we want to give someone that doesn't fit in our budget - we move on to the next thing.

Sure, lots of times it can be frustrating to not be able to give everyone you know everything on their wish list - but in the long run - it's not about giving them the Wii or a new car. It's about finding something that you know in your heart they will enjoy and giving it to them with the best intentions.

For me, the most exciting part of Christmas outside of the spiritual meaning is watching people open the gifts that I've chosen to give them. I get so excited that at least in the case of John's gifts - he has to be extra strong and keep reminding me that I can't tell him what they are before December 25th!

So when I see people in the mall with bad attitudes - I'm sad for them, because they're missing the joy that comes from shopping and giving gifts. I know that it can be stressful to get it all done - BELIEVE me - I am stressed a lot of the time about getting it all done as well, but in the end - somehow it always gets done in time, and hopefully - I haven't missed the special moments along the way.

Two very wise people in my life (well, more than that actually) have reminded me during all the personal struggles that I've been going through lately - and continue to go through - I can only control myself and I can't let other people dictate how I react to things anymore. I will be missing a pretty big event tomorrow on one side of my family because of the current state of relationships with them, but instead of sitting at home and wallowing in that... I'm going to go to The Movie Tavern and watch Four Christmases with John.

I know that there are people in my life that wouldn't understand that decision, but part of the healing process is to work through the pain - but it doesn't mean that your life needs to stop or that you have to shut yourself in and be depressed throughout the duration of that time period - that does nothing but create more hurt... so I'm choosing to make the most of the gift that I've given myself this year.

Independence from a bad situation. Independence from the pain and hurt that I've put up with for 22 years. Independence from being manipulated into doing things I don't want to do.

I gave myself a less stressful Christmas this year, and I'm going to do my best to make the most of it. John and I are forging a new path this year - for the first time in my life (childhood and adult) I'm having Christmas in my own home. I'm making new traditions, a special meal for John and I to share together - and hopefully a day that we don't even bother to get out of our jammies. We'll just relax, open our gifts, watch some movies, cook our special dinner (menu to be determined later), and remember what we're really celebrating.

I personally am excited about the prospect of what the next few days might bring - I know that it won't all be sunshine and roses because there is a painful situation going on at the same time, BUT I won't let that mean that the rest of my holiday be sad and depressing.
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