I posted the following message years ago but I think it bears repeating...
I've never been much of a 'Christmas' person. There are just too many expectations at this time of year and most of these things I'm not good at. If I had my way, I'd 'unplug the Christmas machine' and create simple, family-centered traditions that wouldn't include shopping malls or racing from one event to another. However, when it comes to Christmas, I don't have my way.
A couple of years ago I came across a list of Seasonal Strategies written by Harold Rosen who was then the minister of the North Shore Unitarian Church. With this list, Harold invites us to "look behind the all-too-familiar things, and see the Larger Reality they represent." I review this list at the start of each Christmas season and I'm now far more successful at keeping my "mental and spiritual health intact."
I offer Harold's list here, an early Yuletide gift for anyone who takes the time to read my blog.
May your ramp-up to Christmas be only as frantic as you wish it to be.
Season Of Symbols
Gifts - they are more than stuffed boxes covered with shiny paper and ribbons; they are tangible tokens of all those thoughtful things we wanted to 'do' for our loved ones and friends, all year long, but never got around to it.
Cards - the are more than donations to Hallmark and overtime pay for the postal service; they are humble hints of the much we'd like to say if only time, emotional strength and eloquence abounded.
Lights - they are more than electrical fire hazards and jobs for the handy-person in our midst; they conquer the darkness of season and soul with a glimpse of celestial spendour.
Carols - they are more than memory-markers and excuses for extra choir rehearsals; they are auditory proof that heaven is nigh, and that the layers of tradition can heal the layers of our pain.
Angels - they are more than plastic ornaments on trees... they are those whispers we hear just in time, saying "you have what it takes.' 'Good deeds can be fun.' 'Things pass, but Love abides' and 'all will turn out well, despite appearances.'