When Christmas Comes Early….

 

When Christmas Comes Early

It’s that time of year again! It’s the holiday season!

I recently came across an article on Facebook about how psychologists have determined that people who decorate early for Christmas are truly happier people. These posts have been posted and re-posted again all over my social media. Being one of those people who can’t wait to start the Christmas season I was excited to find out that my “pre-holiday excitement” is actually good for me! Many of my friends and family members are also in this same state of mind. Then I asked myself

“Why are we as a society so anxious to get the Christmas season started?”

Every year it seems signs of Christmas start showing up earlier and earlier in the retail world. I even got my Hallmark ornament preview invitation as early as June this year! Hobby Lobby and other craft stores begin their holiday sales before school starts. Many other retail stores also begin putting our their Christmas decor/gifts as soon as Halloween ends (give or take a few days).

I know many people don’t like seeing Christmas before Thanksgiving has happened, but for me I have an overwhelming underlying joy from seeing the brightly colored bows, festive green trees, and hearing Bing Crosby singing “It’s Beginning to Look like Christmas” over the speaker system while shopping through the stores. And I don’t feel like I am alone.

Next weekend (the weekend before Thanksgiving) we are decorating our house for Christmas — the tree, the mantle, etc! We will be watching the Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas movies on repeat and playing all of our favorite nostalgic Christmas tunes! Why? Because of the hope, peace, joy, and love Christmas brings to us all!

As I was reflecting on WHY the world is so anxious for Christmas, myself included, I decided it’s because of what the season means to so many of us. Christmas is a time of advent which is a time when we remember and anticipate the arrival of Jesus. When we light the advent candles they represent our feelings of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. These are things our world desires whether they are celebrating Christmas as Christians or not. It seems that during the holidays people are a little bit kinder or more giving. People smile more and wish each other well! There is an overwhelming season of peace (even when it seems crazy and chaotic).

Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”

So if you find yourself singing “Silent Night” or “Joy to the World” early this year, is it because you really are desiring and pursuing Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love? Don’t feel guilty because you are celebrating “early” this year….. because we need to celebrate Jesus all year long! Embrace Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love today and everyday —- feel Christmas all year long! Celebrate the Gift that was given to us from our Heavenly Father and share it with all you encounter.

Happy Holiday Season my friends!

Blessed are the flexible….

Hi! My name is Emily Wurmnest and I am a CONTROL FREAK! I am absolutely OCD about many things and have to work really hard to “let it go.” I don’t know where it comes from (although I have an inkling) but it is defiantly getting worse the older I get. 

Today I was cleaning out the guestroom/office basically purging everything that wasn’t a necessity. As I was going through old papers, scrapbook supplies, fabric scraps, etc. a piece of lined notebook paper fell out onto my foot. In my handwriting I had written one simple sentence…”Blessed are the flexible – for they will not be bent out of shape.” Not sure when or why I had written this phrase down – may have been from a Bible study I was working through or a Pinterest quote I liked. Either way it was exactly what I needed to see today. 


As we get closer to the holidays my OCD has been kicked into high gear because I crave the perfect Christmas that you see in the movies and read about in books. This past weekend I hosted my small group girls for a “Favorite Things” party. Everyone was supposed to bring a gift that cost $6 or less for each girl in attendance. It was supposed to be something that was one of their “favorite things.” After getting the treats all made, house picked up, etc. I decided not to vacuum that day because I had already done it two days prior. This decision may seem easy to some but for me it took me several hours to commit to that decision. Of course my friends and I all had a great time enjoying each others conversations, stories, and gifts – even without a freshly vacuumed carpet! 
So where does this OCD come from? Why this constant need for control in my life? I think it honestly goes back to when my mom was sick while I was growing up. I had no control over her heart problems and couldn’t prevent her from going to the hospital which was often. Her heart problems didn’t take a holiday or care that it was my first piano recital. Her heart problems didn’t care that I was only in 2nd grade when my mom went into sun cardiac death changing out lives forever. Her heart problems didn’t care that it took her life when I was 17 years old on the last day of my junior year. I had no control over this circumstance but I knew I could try to control some of the variables in my life… starting after she died. 
In college I tried to control my love life which ended in making stupid decisions and eventually in heartbreak. After college I tried to control my future which I could do to some extent but ultimately learned that God had a plan and I needed to trust and follow that plan. After getting married I tried to control the plan for children which ended in several failed attempts to get pregnant but eventually led to the adoption of our son, leading up to the birth of our daughter. (God definitely had the control on that one — not my plan but His!) After having kids I should really give up trying to have control because it is evident every day that I will not have control with two preschoolers in the house…. it’s IMPOSSIBLE! 
So here I am…. in the midst of a crazy holiday season…. trying to gain some control. However it is in those moments when I am flexible and just enjoy the Christmas season that I will not get bent of shape! I can relax and create lasting memories with my family instead of having them remember the Christmas’s where “Mommy lost it.” I need to remember to breathe and let God have control! Who will be in control of your Christmas season? Will you learn to be flexible or will you continue to try to regain control only to “lose it” in the end??