A month from now, it’ll all be over. Today’s the day I can’t not hear my dad’s personal holiday litany, in his voice, inside my head. With variations – two months, two weeks, a week – it was as much a part of my holidays as trimming the tree and wrapping gifts. It’s not that he was a Scrooge-like Grinch. Quite the opposite. He LOVED the holidays. Especially the choosing and giving of gifts. I grew up hearing about how, when my brothers (12 and 14 years older than me) were little, he and my mom finished Christmas shopping together before Thanksgiving because my dad’s work schedule was so hectic in December. As the branch manager of the local post office, his Decembers were a blur of long lines of usually stressed-out and sometimes downright nasty customers from the time he unlocked the door in the morning until way after. . . .Read more . . .
Feeling wiped out by the holiday frenzy already? It’s just getting started. Holiday commercials since Halloween, crowds raging and carols blasting in every store, schedules becoming more packed every day – no wonder we’re feeling the crunch. It doesn’t have to be that way. Sure, if you cooked, visited, traveled, or shopped yesterday on Thanksgiving, it makes sense that you’re tired. But that doesn’t mean you’re destined to constantly feel frazzled and exhausted for the next 40 days, from now until the first of the year. Begin to create a holiday season of more comfort and joy – and way less stress – by resting a bit today. And reflecting on the fact that it doesn’t *have* to be a nonstop season of overdoing, overeating and overspending. As a church musician, I’ve long been familiar with the joke about the seven words of church management: that’s the way we’ve always. . . .Read more . . .