Making Christmas Last

The hustle and bustle is over. The gifts have been unwrapped. The meal’s been eaten and the guests have gone.

If you’re like most people who celebrate Christmas, you’ve done a lot of preparation up until this day. Gift shopping, decorating, cleaning the house, (sometimes even making improvements and organizing), meal planning, grocery shopping, baking and cooking.

Finally, the day is here and everything falls together. Even when things aren’t perfect or you didn’t do all you wanted to do, when family is together and you’re all just hanging out and enjoying each other and the festivities, it just feels so right. You may have even realized all the fuss beforehand wasn’t even necessary.

And then it’s over. Time to clean up the wrapping paper and gift boxes, put the leftovers in the fridge and call it a day. Goodbye guests. Goodbye Christmas.

What if we kept the Christmas Spirit alive within us long past Christmas day? The good part about Christmas. I’m not even talking about the religious aspect but if you celebrate for Christian reasons, that too. Being thankful. For God and Jesus. Grateful for each other and everything you’ve been blessed with to this day.

You’re health may not be perfect. You are still working on your goals. Unfortunate circumstances happen from time to time. There will be hurdles we all need to get over. People come and go in our lives. Some sadly and others for the better.

But it’s all so good. It’s our life to live the way we want. In America, we are blessed with freedom and opportunity. No matter where you are, you are blessed with life and a chance to make a difference.

What if we actually felt the way we do on Christmas all year round? What if we purchased or made little gifts or offered baked goods or a meal to our neighbors? What if we gave trinkets to our service workers just to show our appreciation for their hard work now and then? What if we felt the warmth in our hearts, that we do today, all the time and lived our lives in this state of gratitude?

Can we invite friends over more often for a celebration of friendship? Can we spend our days off preparing our home and a nice meal for each other a little more often? Can we then take the time to relax with them and enjoy each other?

I think we can.

I hope you don’t take the Christmas tree down so soon. I hope you don’t pack it all away and forget about it til next year.

I’m going to start a new tradition this year and I encourage you to join me.

I’m going to leave a “piece of Christmas” up in our house all year. I haven’t decided if it will be an ornament, a special Christmas card, twinkle lights or maybe even a little hand written gift tag and piece of wrapping paper.

I’m going to let this be my reminder that I am blessed every day. I’ve been blessed to have many Christmases. I have some beautiful memories of past family gatherings from when the kids were young. When we indulged them with the idea of Santa. And even when I was a kid myself and believed in the magic of it all.

No one knows how many more Christmas mornings we will have. So let it be Christmas morning every Sunday in your house. Or every week or month or whatever you can manage. Have more pot lucks. Send heartwarming Facebook greetings to friends and spread the spirit of Christmas around like confetti all year long.

I, for one, will be celebrating Christmas every day I’m blessed to be alive. I’ll never be sad looking back and thinking I wish I slowed down to appreciate life because I’m doing it now!

In what ways can you appreciate being alive this week?

This week, can you try to notice the “little big” things? By that I mean the things we tend to overlook that are really the most important? Your dog happily greeting you, a snuggle with your child or a call or text from a loved one. How about the warmth and comfort of a cup of coffee or your own bed?

What did you appreciate about this Christmas the most?

Did you celebrate old, make new traditions or both?

What little piece of Christmas can you leave out all year to remind you to stay grateful?

We celebrated with our son and son-in-law. We exchanged heartfelt gifts, had a good meal and relaxed together. It was appreciated and very special. We took the dogs for a walk after our meal and gift exchange. It was chilly out here in Denver. Then we drove the boys to the airport so they can celebrate with their other side of family too (out of state). In the late evening, my husband and I relaxed in the hot tub, got into our night clothes, checked out our new gifts, snuggled up with the dogs and talked until we fell asleep. We’re staying at the boys’ house watching their pooch for them. Our Christmas couldn’t have been more perfect. There is no reason whatsoever every day can’t be like this; filled with love and gratitude.

Thank you for reading.

Merry Christmas and good night.

Love to you from Lambie and Bellybutton!

PS The photos are my own. ❤️