Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Jackie Stammen

12/19/2013 (11 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 (11 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

Triage in the Confessional

Image of Confession heals and makes us whole.

By by Tara K. E. Brelinsky

Last year, at around this same time in Advent, we were sitting in church. Mass having just been celebrated, Monsignor Williams was announcing the upcoming events on the calendar when he invited us all to a penance service. Ever eloquent, his description began to ... continue reading


Who Will Step Up This Christmas and Speak the Truth in Love?

Image of God's love is eternal.

By Michael Seagriff

This is one of the two times each year when, I believe, our Lord most dreads the silence that will envelop far too many of our parishes. Someone needs to give voice to His yearnings. Where is the zeal for the salvation of souls?  What follows is similar to some of ... continue reading


The Pagan Who Helped Build the Catholic Church

Image of Gaius Valerius Diocles was born sometime around the year 244. He took the Roman throne, persecute the early Christians but give the Church its base structure that survives to this day.

By Michael Clark

As we approach the Christmas season and the celebration of the birth of Jesus (and by extension, the Church), we would be remiss if we did not learn more about the pagan who helped give the Church its structure and the means to expand throughout the world: the Emperor ... continue reading


A Simple Reflection on Mary's Fiat

Image of Mary's 'fiat' changed the eternal fate of mankind.

By Michael Seagriff

In today's Gospel (Luke 1:26-38) we hear the angel Gabriel's familiar greeting to our heavenly Mother Mary: 'Hail full of grace'. We repeat that salutation every time we pray the 'Hail Mary.  As a result, we sometimes forget the significance of those words and the ... continue reading


Everything we have is a gift from God!

Image of Give God everything you desire, everything you are fighting to hang on to. Then wait for the Lord. In quiet and in calm, wait for the Lord. 'By waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust shall be your strength' (Isaiah 30:15).

By Jackie Stammen

Nothing here on this earth is actually ours. Nothing. Our family is not even technically our own - they are on loan to us, a gift from God to help us through life and hopefully make us holy in order to obtain the ultimate gift, Heaven. NASHVILLE, TN - Even though I ... continue reading


When We Lived in the Wild West

Image of A would be burglar caught by police.

By by Tara K. E. Brelinsky

A fierce rage swelled inside of me as I considered the events of that night. My children and quite frankly I were unsettled at the notion that a stranger was casing our house, inventorying our belongings. I was annoyed that my neighbor wasn't free to unload his ... continue reading


Thank You for never giving up on us, Lord

Image of Lord, grasp my heart that I might always seek you and draw closer to You.

By Jackie Stammen

My heart has been all over the place today. This morning, I left those I love the most (my family) and made the 400 mile drive back to Nashville. A holiday weekend filled with the love of family is just what I needed, but it also stirred a multitude of emotions within ... continue reading


If You Have To Paint, Make It A Painting Party

By Jackie Stammen

It's been a really long time since I lasted posted on here, but I haven't forgotten about this blog.  NASHVILLE, TN -  Truthfully it's not even that I've necessarily felt uninspired. So many times over the past few months I have thought about writing, but my ... continue reading


Are You a Contractual Catholic-Christian?

Image of During mass at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Cubao, Philippines

By Andee de Jesus

Every week, we celebrate the Lords day. We attended the mass not due to compliance and wishes. Our desires inspire us to keep moving, yet there are more reasons on how we should live our everyday lives with our Creator.  QUEZON CITY, PH - One Sunday afternoon, in ... continue reading


#StopEbolaStrike, Protect America

Image of Ebola has a very high death rate.

By Cheryl Jones

There is currently a #StopEbolaStrike under that hash tag on Twitter. LOS ANGELES, CA - Those who are studying this out, scientists, say that this Ebola is a different strain from those that have gone before. It may spread easier. It may go airborne. It may have an ... 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, Judges 13:2-7, 24-25
2 There was a man of Zorah of the tribe of Dan, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 71:3-4, 5-6, 16-17
3 Be a sheltering rock for me, always accessible; you ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:5-25
5 In the days of King Herod of Judaea there lived a ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 19th, 2014 Image

St. Nemesius
December 19: Martyr of Egypt. He was burned alive in Alexandria, Egypt, ... 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