IMG_4596With the eve of Thanksgiving upon us and full Thanksgiving preparations now underway in homes across America, there are likely as many turkeys defrosting in kitchen sinks as there are elastic-waist pants drying in dryers.

Holidays are kind of a tricky thing for our family, but I actually think that there are some part or parts of the holidays that are tricky for all of us. Maybe its relationships not being what we hoped or what they once were with people in our lives. Maybe its dollar sign stress because we need to buy all of the presents for all of the people and the December paychecks don’t allow for that. Maybe its gaining the dreaded 20 holiday pounds and not wanting to go through the dreaded new year dieting drama…yet again. Or the unmet expectations or not finding the perfect tree… or… or….or.

At any rate, I have to give myself a little holiday pep talk about this time each year to get myself in the right frame of mind to endure the upcoming, rather chaotic and somewhat stressful, despite all attempts to the contrary, weeks.

This year, LOVE is my goal. At places like the grocery store when I’ve been to three stores and they are all out of fried onions for the green bean casserole. Or at the gas station when the lines are four miles long and I can’t stomach another round of I-Spy with the five year old while we wait.  Or at the mall when the madness ensues as the shoppers get what they need before they rush home with their treasures, I will remember to LOVE.

I will:

  • Laugh, celebrate and sing (only with my hairbrush, don’t worry). I will laugh often until my stomach hurts, celebrate this beautiful life that we get to call our own, and sing, because Joy to the World! What’s life without laughter, friends and a good melody?
  • Offer intentional gratitude often for the abundance in my life.
  • Vow to spend more time being present with my loved ones than buying presents for them.
  • Extend to myself and the people in my life, the grace that Jesus was born for me to have. I will cut myself some slack when all the things don’t end up getting checked off all the lists. I will suspend my expectations of “perfect” holiday meals and the visions of sugarplums that dance in my head.

I will laugh, offer thanks often, vow to be present, and extend grace to myself and others. I will LOVE. It’s corny, it’s cute and it’s just what I need for this holiday season.

Sure, I will try to eat as many veggies as I eat cookies (not gonna lie, that may or may not happen). I will try to remember to move Twink, the Elf on the Shelf, each night, but the reality is that, heck, I’ll be winning if I remember to get her out of the box this year. Tis the season, friends. Tis. The. Season.

As you prepare for Thanksgiving and this upcoming holiday season, I wish you peace. I wish you joy. But most of all, I wish you LOVE.


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