Coming into Christmas with Intention (Episode 24) - leahremillet.com

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Coming into Christmas with Intention (Episode 24)

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Christmas does not have to be perfect

If you had this week to do again, what would you do differently?

Stress less?
Cuddle More?
Drink the cocoa?
Make the memories?

I love asking this question because now I can approach the day, the season, or in this case, Christmas week — with the right intention!

I was thinking about different Christmases that I’ve had and there is one that really stands out and it is one that went completely wrong. It was just me and my dad. I must have been in 9th or 10th grade. I don’t remember all the circumstances, but our family wasn’t doing anything, and we hadn’t made plans. We’d been busy and hadn’t really thought about it.

We hadn’t gotten a Christmas tree, so ended up dragging in a sad little bush that had been in front of our little apartment. We tried to decorate it a little bit and kept laughing over what a Charlie Brown tree it was. This was truly a Charlie Brown tree bush.

By the time my dad realized that we had nothing to do for Christmas, it was Christmas. He was excited about the idea of taking me out for a nice dinner. We got there, only to realize it was closed (the days before smartphones). He was discouraged, and I remember him taking me to the next restaurant and the next restaurant.

They were all closed. We ended up eating our Christmas dinner at Denny’s. I remember we had a really nice waitress, but he felt so disappointed in himself. He was so upset that he hadn’t given me a better Christmas, but I loved that Christmas because it was so obvious how much my dad loved me! I smile and laugh about that Christmas. It was memorable!

I don’t remember very much about the ones that were considered more “perfect.” Christmas doesn’t have to be perfect and it doesn’t have to be filled with all the things. This is something that I’ve personally struggled to balance. We’re in a position where we’re very, very blessed and fortunate to be able to give our kids the things they want, but I also want to be careful to recognize that it’s not about the things. It’s about so much more than that. And if we’re not careful, we take Christ right out of Christmas.

BE INTENTIONAL

The most incredible memories that I have, and that my kids even talk about when it comes to all our past Christmases, are the ones when we serve, when we love others, and when we take time to just be together. So this is a reminder to me as much as it is for you: be incredibly intentional this week.

This Christmas, I want to create space. I want to utilize the in-between to get more time with my kiddos. I want to serve and love others, and I want to find the person whose Christmas is lacking, who’s aching right now, and I want to try to lighten their burden just a little bit.

I want to be present. I want to slow down and have more time for cuddles and laughter. I want to be able to look up and see someone in need and do something about it. If we’re so busy with our own list, with our own things, then we’re looking down. When we’re looking down, we don’t see the people who need us.

Those are the things that really matter: not getting them the greatest gift, not having all of the things, and not doing it all perfectly. That’s not what it’s about. And it’s so easy to get caught up in that and to forget the real meaning.

So this week, as we all figure out how to balance the busyness of the week leading up to Christmas, I just wanted to share my thoughts for myself, and I hope that maybe it leaves an impression or sparks a little something for you.

And if you’re worried about this Christmas lacking or that you won’t have enough, I promise you it’s okay. If there is an abundance of love, the rest will be fine. They might miss it now, but it won’t be missed in the long term.

I can still see my dad’s face. I can see his face as we were driving from restaurant to restaurant and feeling disappointed, sad, and frustrated with himself that he hadn’t planned something better for me, but I knew and felt how much he loved me. I wouldn’t question that for a moment.

That is my Christmas message for you. I hope you have the most amazing Christmas week, that you feel loved, and that you get to give love. Thank you so much for being part of the Balancing Busy podcast. I’m so grateful for you and I’m so excited to share so much more next year about how we can balance the busy better. And if there is anything specific you would love to hear me talk about, come find me on social media, leave me a dm, email me, or leave a comment right here.

You deserve all the goodness. Merry Christmas.

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[00:00:00] Christmas does not have to be perfect. I wanna just start with that. This is Leah Rele and this is the Balancing Busy Podcast, and we are a week away from Christmas. We’re coming down to The Wire and all of the things that we still need to do might. Hi. On our list and fresh in our minds, and it might be a big focus right now as you think about all these things that still need your attention, but I wanna ask you to pause and I wanna ask you to think about what really matters.

[00:01:12] During Christmas, I was thinking about different Christmases that I’ve. And one that really stands out. One that I remember is one that went completely wrong. It was just my dad and I and I must have been ninth grade. I think. We didn’t have any plans for Christmas. There wasn’t any family doing anything.

[00:01:40] I, I don’t remember the circumstances. We just had nothing to do for Christmas and we’d been busy. Hadn’t really thought about it. And so we’d never gotten a Christmas tree and we ended up dragging in this very, very sad, sad little bush that was in front of our little apartment. And we tried to decorate a little bit and we kept laughing over what a Charlie brown tree it was.

[00:02:08] And this was truly a Charlie Brown. By the time my dad realized that we had nothing to do for Christmas, it was Christmas, and he got really excited at this, thought that he was gonna take me to a really nice dinner. This restaurant called 13 Coins. And I remember him taking me there and it was closed and he was really discouraged and I remember him taking me to the next restaurant and the next restaurant.

[00:02:42] And they were all closed and we ended up eating dinner at Denny’s and it was a really nice waitress and it was just the two of us, and he felt so disappointed in himself. So upset that he hadn’t given me a better Christmas, but I love that Christmas. I smile and laugh about that Christmas, I remember that Christmas.

[00:03:16] I don’t really remember very much about the ones that quote were maybe more along the lines of perfect. Christmas doesn’t have to be perfect and it doesn’t have to be filled with things, and this is something that I’ve personally struggled to balance. You know, we’re in a position where we’re very, very blessed and fortunate and lucky to be able to give our kids the things that they want, but I wanna be so careful to recognize that it’s not about the things.

[00:03:56] It’s about so much more than that. And if we’re not careful, we take Christ right out of Christmas. The most incredible memories. That I have and that my kids even talk about through all of our Christmases are honestly around when we serve, when we love others, when we take time to just be together. So this is a reminder to me as much as it is for you, a gift to just offer.

[00:04:35] This idea to be incredibly intentional this week. Simplify what takes you away from family, from the people who matter most. Look, if there’s an an easier way, try to get more done in, in one run than multiple runs. And just spend time together. And I think the most beautiful thing that we can do together is serve when we have adopted a family secretly and shared gifts with them or volunteered or gone and sang at a nursing home.

[00:05:20] I remember those moments. They stand out. They’re really special. I don’t remember all the gifts I’ve gotten. Most of ’em weren’t even around six months later. They were broken or they were already over them. Sometimes. Honestly, by the end of Christmas, what I remember are the moments I remember spending the time together loving other people, people.

[00:05:49] So for me, more than for you. I wanna remind myself that I want to be intentional this week. I wanna be present. I wanna slow down and have more time for cuddles and laughter and snuggle time, and. . Being able to just look up and see someone in need and do something about it. One of the things is if we’re so, so busy with our own list, with our own things, then we’re looking down.

[00:06:19] And when we’re looking down, we don’t see the people who need us because you have to look up in order to see those people. So I wanna create space, I wanna utilize the in between to get more time with my kiddo. I wanna serve and I wanna love others, and I wanna find the person whose Christmas is lacking, who’s aching right now, and I wanna try to lighten their burden just a little bit.

[00:06:50] Those are the things that really matter, not getting them the greatest gift, not having all of the things, not doing it all perfectly. That’s not it. It’s not what it’s about. And it’s so easy to get caught up in that and to forget that. There’s so many things on my mind right now because we are hosting this year.

[00:07:14] We will have tons of family coming in, and I want everything to be perfect, and I want things figured out and done right, and I have all these, these things I want cleaned out and organized. So if someone opens the cupboards, it’ll look nice. I mean, that’s the truth. . There is so many of these things that I’m thinking about and worrying about, but if I step back for just a moment. That’s not it. It’s just not it. The it is in my intentionality, is in my presence, is in my ability to slow down and see and recognize and take the moments, take the moments to love, and to bless and to be generous.

[00:08:03] and to enjoy Christmas myself, I’ll miss the whole thing if I’m not careful. So this week, as we all figure out how to balance the busyness of the week leading up to Christmas, I just wanted to share with you what I’m thinking about my own thoughts for myself, and I hope that maybe it leaves a little impression or sparks a little something for.

[00:08:34] And if you’re worried about this Christmas lacking, if you’re worried about how you won’t have enough, I promise you it’s okay. If there is love, if there is an abundance of love, the rest of it, it’s fine. They might miss it now. They might miss it in the moment. It won’t be missed. On the long term, it won’t be.

[00:09:01] There’s this beautiful story I just read about a family in 1968, I believe, and Christmas morning came and the kids all ran to open and dumped their stockings and they were empty. They were 100% empty, and the mom cried bitterly, heartbroken that she couldn’t give herself her children. and the the mother, she cried bitterly frustrated and angry and hurt that she couldn’t give her children the Christmas that she believed they deserved and wanted and that she wanted to give them.

[00:09:43] And all she had was an apple, and she took this apple and sliced it up amidst the tears and divvied it out to her children. And her daughter decades later remembered that Christmas and how much she loved her mother’s hands, cutting that apple, trying to give them something. I look back and I love the face.

[00:10:12] I can see my dad’s face still. I can see his face in the. As we were driving from restaurant to restaurant and feeling so disappointed and sad and frustrated with himself that he hadn’t planned something better for me, but I knew and felt how much he loved me. I couldn’t question that for a moment and everything else if he fades.

[00:10:37] But that love that matters and we show that by showing up. So that is my Christmas message for you. I hope you have the most amazing, amazing Christmas week that you feel loved and that you get to give love. Thank you so much for being part of the Balancing Busy podcast, as you know, or maybe you don’t know, I started.

[00:11:07] For my 40th birthday as one of the biggest things I wanted to accomplish for my 40 days till I turned 40. This was number one, and it’s here, and you are listening, and I’m so, so grateful for that and I’m so excited to share so much more next year. About how we can balance the busy better. And if there is anything specifically you would love to hear me talk about, come find me on social media, leave me a dm, email me, connect with me.

[00:11:37] I would love to hear, remember, you are possible. You deserve all the goodness, and it is available. Merry Christmas.

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