Christmas Presence

By on December 1, 2012

By Prudence Lay –

Christmas is just around the corner. Does that strike a chord of gladness in your heart or do you hear the melancholy tones of somber funeral music playing in your head that sounds like “oh no, oh no, hear we go, here we go”? My prayer for you is that “Joy to the World” is what is spinning in your heart and head but I know that for many of you, you are simply too tired and overwhelmed to be feeling very joyful.

Let’s start out with the chores associated with the holidays. You all know what I’m talking about – there are a lot of them, from extra dishes to extra cleaning to extra shopping, to extra everything! My first piece of advice is delegate. I know you have heard it before, but it bears repeating. The key to delegating is that it is out of your hands. What this means is that you let whoever is doing the chore, do it. Don’t try to tell them how it should be done. Let it go! Oh, and if it doesn’t get done, let the other person take responsibility for that – even if it is a big thing (like not buying the turkey for dinner). Don’t take it upon yourself to carry the guilt over it. Another important item is to make a list of everything you need and want to do. If you write it down, you will feel more in control and are much less likely to forget something important (like that turkey).

Remember to look for the good in situations. If you hate loading the dishwasher, think of it as a time for thinking your own thoughts. Stretch that time out as long as you can. More than likely you are in the kitchen by yourself (because everyone else quickly found something else to do), so enjoy the peace and quiet and thank God for the amazing food you just consumed.

Most people seem to congregate in a couple of rooms in a home during parties. Give yourself a break and just clean those rooms. If your bedroom/closet/laundry room is a mess – who cares? Your guests certainly won’t and neither should you. This is a time for camaraderie and fun. Your guests are coming to spend time with you, not critique your cleaning or decorating skills.

Now that I have mentioned decorating, don’t become obsessed with covering every square inch of your house unless it gives YOU joy to do it. Concentrate on the areas that you spend the most time in and that will delight you for the entire season. Be sure to decorate in the style that makes your heart sing – not what is trendy at the moment because chances are you won’t like it for very long. If you are a traditional red and green girl – go for it – don’t worry that plum and copper may be the colors of the moment.

When you have guests (family included), ask them to bring something to share. Don’t make yourself responsible for everything and be grateful for whatever shows up. This goes back to delegating ladies.

One of my favorite timesavers is gift bags. I love these things!  Wrapping presents is not one of my favorite holiday pastimes, so I utilize these awesome bags. They look absolutely lovely and best of all they are reusable over and over again. Buy some pretty tissue paper and you are good to go. How great is that, a time and money saver.

Another shortcut is to mix homemade goodies with (gasp) store bought food. Again, the bottom line here is that people are getting together for fun and fellowship. They really aren’t going to care if all your cakes, pies, cookies and rolls are not homemade.

Last, but certainly not least, I strongly suggest you find a quiet place (even if it is the bathtub), close the door, light a candle and relax! Reflect on the reason for all of this merrymaking in the first place. We are celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ – an event that will never be duplicated in human history. Christ came so that we might have life – and love and joy and peace. I believe that He loves the merrymaking as much as we do if it is done in the right spirit and with grace and kindness to all. Be sure to take time to stay grounded in that spirit this Christmas season and everyone you come into contact with will be blessed by the greatest gift you can ever give them – the gift of you presence, your smile and your love. God Bless us Every One!

Prudence Lay

About Prudence Lay

With more than three decades of home interior design and international travel experience, Prudence Lay has developed a sharp eye for how to create inviting living environments and adventurous travel experiences. Currently Prudence and her family reside in Sisters.

One Comment

  1. Sandra at Thistle Cove Farm

    December 3, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Excellent article and advice, Prudence. Although, I confess, I’ve never understood all the hoopla and angst surrounding Christmas. I mean, there’s no one holding a gun to anyone’s head saying, “You HAVE to spend $xxxx or you HAVE to make perfect.” Why do people set themselves up for the impossible? It’s enough to have a warm, clean bed, a table of good food (even beans and cornbread) and a house full of love.
    I bet there are a LOT of people who would trade all the glitter and glitz of stuff they don’t need nor want, for the peace and quiet of a loving home.
    I can think of a few families right now.
    So, for this Christmas, I’m giving the gift of time with family and friends. I’m taking my sister to NYC to see a play (she’s never been to either); and several friends and I will meet at the beach, on different weekends, early in the new year;
    When it’s all said and done, all I want for Christmas is more of loved ones and the promise of good memories to come.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Christmas Presence