Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Jackie Stammen

12/19/2013 (1 year 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 (1 year 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:-)




Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Blog

The Art of Receiving Watch

Image of Jesus teaches that it is better to give than to receive, but in order to give we must first receive, gracious recieving blesses those who give.

By Shelly A. Schneider

How good are you at receiving? Not as in professional football, and not as in birthday or Christmas gifts. I'm talking receiving as in sincere compliments and unexpected blessings.things like that. I was never a good receiver and I never really gave it much thought. I ... continue reading


We Stand With You Lord - No Matter The Price We May Be Asked To Pay!

Image of We can gaze upon His Presence here in the Eucharist as long as our Churches remain open.

By Michael Seagriff

May the following words penned more than 50 years ago by Rev. M. Raymond, O.C.S.O. encourage us during these trying times and our pending exile in a world that has, for the most part, turned its back on the Lord who created them, died for them, yet still offers all ... continue reading


An Encounter With Jesus Through The Hand Of A Child

Image of We are brothers and sisters in Christ and we can't be whole until we are all whole together.

By Jackie Stammen

Surprises. Our God is full of surprises. A mentor in my life once told me to expect surprises in life, you are sure to have them. Good or bad, you will experience surprises. NASHVILLE, TN - Three weeks prior to the end of 2014 (good riddance, you crazy year, I am so ... continue reading


Synod on the Family: Perception v. Reality

Image of Pope Francis understands the critical importance of the traditional nuclear family in God's plan for human society in general and for the Church in particular.

By by Justin Soutar (Richmond, VA)

The secular news media has irresponsibly embedded in the public mind its own grossly inaccurate portrayal of the 2014/2015 Synod on the Family, raising vain expectations among the Church's enemies (including dissenters) of doctrinal and disciplinary changes that cannot ... continue reading


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Image of One has to look a little deeper to find something other than physical beauty.

By Shelly A. Schneider

Have you ever really thought about that? I'm talking about the heading above. I suppose once you become a spouse and parent the whole "eye of the beholder" thing has some relevance. In my eyes, there is nothing more beautiful on this planet than my husband and our ... continue reading


An Urgent Prayer and Warning - Lest Thy Church Suffer Too Great A Darkness

Image of O Come Let Us Adore Him While We Can!

By Michael Seagriff

Those who have visited here, read my book, I Thirst For Your Love, or frequent Harvesting The Fruits of Contemplation, know how much I value and promote the work of Father Mark and his community, The Benedictine Monks of Perpetual Adoration. Father Mark ... continue reading


Think the grass is always greener? Maybe not.

Image of Kids grow up so fast...we need to enjoy every moment of time.

By Shelly A. Schneider

Are you a 'grass is always greener' person? I was, too, until a seemingly normal Thursday afternoon many, many years ago. Read on. LOS ANGELES, CA - I used to watch moms with teenagers and feel pangs of jealousy.'I can't wait until my kids are old enough to do things ... continue reading


Tribute to an American Catholic Hero

Image of  The 3-cent Iwo Jima stamp was issued July 11, 1945

By Justin Soutar

John Henry Bradley (1923--1994), one of the six Iwo Jima flag-raisers in World War II, may have never considered himself an American Catholic hero, but that's exactly what he was. Whether tending wounded Marines under heavy gunfire in the battlefield or comforting ... continue reading


God said...and I listened

Image of Our daughter, Sam. Most days I feel blessed that she is so similar to me.

By Shelly A. Schneider

I received an e-mail from my friend, and newspaper photographer, Ray Rockwell this morning. It was titled, 'God said 'No.' I'd seen it before, but I decided I might need to read it again. Here's a small part of the text: LOS ANGELES, CA - I asked God to grant me ... continue reading


Our Lost Cathedral Hagia Sophia

Image of Beautiful mosaics in the Hagia Sofia Museum

By Michael Clark

On May 29, 1453, the Christian world lost its first great cathedral, the Hagia Sophia, as Muslim invaders sacked the city of Constantinople finally ending the Roman Empire. The massive church was not spared from the looters, as its treasures and art were either hacked ... 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, Genesis 27:1-5, 15-29
1 When Isaac had grown old, and his eyes were so weak ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 135:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 Alleluia! Praise the name of Yahweh, you who serve ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:14-17
14 Then John's disciples came to him and said, 'Why ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 4th, 2015 Image

St. Elizabeth of Portugal
July 4: Elizabeth was a Spanish princess who was given in marriage to ... 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