“a time to seek, and a time to lose, a time to keep, and a time to cast away” Ecclesiastes 3:6

My husband and I started a family tradition the first year we were married.  We bought each other a special ornament to place on our tree.  As we added to our family, we also added ornaments to our tree.  Sometimes, the ornaments represented what we were interested in at the time, like my son’s billiard ball and my daughter’s kayak.  Other times, the ornaments were picked because they sparked joy in our lives, like my husband’s globe and my blue Volkswagen with a wreath on top!  Every year, as we unpack our ornaments, we are delighted to place our treasures on the tree.  After my son was married, I gently packed up Ethan’s ornaments, and gave them for him to put on his own tree.  Teary eyed, I handed a piece of his childhood over to him, knowing that he would be creating his own traditions with his family.  I could not hang onto the past, I had to let go.

Sometimes, the Christmas season can seem overwhelming with its demands and obligations.  Years ago, I stressed myself and my family by trying to participate in every wonderful experience Christmas had to offer.  After some tears of frustration on my part, I realize that this speed was not good for our family dynamic, especially when you have two strong introverts, so I decided to let go!  We would not read every favorite Christmas book, or watch every Christmas movie, or participate in every Christmas activity.  Instead, we did what we could and let go of the rest.  Some years, we fit more into the season, other seasons we did less.  It made Christmas manageable.

Photo credit to Margaret Collins

This Christmas, my schedule is already a lot more open than usual due to the pandemic.  But rather than letting go of activities, I am choosing to let go of disappointments.  I am focusing more on letting go of frustrations and sadness about situations the pandemic has forced upon me.  Not only does my schedule need to be manageable, but my heart needs to be peaceful during this season.  Ask yourself if there is anything you need to let go of this season.

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