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Running Around Christmas

I wasn’t going to update until after the holidays, but something happened that I needed to share. My husband and I were talking about how Christmas has changed for us since moving away from family. We shared what Christmas was like for each other as kids. (It was different, because we are from different countries.) This will be our third Christmas in the land Down Under and it never quite felt like Christmas to me. I thought about this and wondered why, or if I was just spoilt by my childhood and the ‘magic’ of Christmas. As an adult, studying and working, Christmas just passed by last year for me and it upset me deeply. I didn’t want that to happen this year, so I tried to get all my work done early and requested a few days off from work.

As Christmas started to settle in my heart and around me (even though I am use to white Christmases), I realized what was wrong with Christmas as an adult. It hit me when I went to a cafe today just to sit, have a coffee, and read a book. I sat at the cafe for about an hour and then got up to pay at the counter. The two girls working greeted me nicely (as always) and commented how refreshing it was to see me just sitting in there, reading, not rushing around and panicking about Christmas and gifts and food, etc. I may have given them a funny look and then I replied, “Christmas is about taking time.”

That’s when it hit me. The words just came out of my mouth. What my subconscious had known, the rest of me was just beginning to realize. That is what Christmas is about: taking time. Time for family, time for relaxing, time for you, time for others, time for singing, time for snowmen, time for elves on the shelves, time for decorating, time for lights, time for silliness, time to not be an adult and time to believe.

Christmas is believing. If we get caught up in the presents and shopping and cooking and running around, then we miss the whole point of Christmas. It becomes a chore, a stress, not a holiday. Most people I talk to tell me that this is their most stressful time of year. Their real ‘holiday’ is when they go on vacation for a week somewhere tropical. Why does it have to be that way? It doesn’t. Most people are just missing the point of Christmas. Christmas is a holiday, and you must be the one to make it that way. It is so easy to get caught up in everything around Christmas, but please try not to become stressed. Just don’t worry about it as much. Is Christmas going to be less special if your apple pie isn’t perfect? Will the kids remember what type of wrapping paper you put on their gifts? Will your mother-in-law criticize your souffle throughout the entire new year? No! (Well, maybe the last one.)

So enjoy the holiday. Enjoy taking time. Enjoy the belief that Christmas is more than what we get or what we eat. Believe.

Merry Christmas to all!

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Posted by on December 24, 2013 in Holidays, World Problems

 

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Discoveries

I know I have been absent for quite awhile. I was on a much needed vacation from the world. During this vacation I saw family, old friends, ate too much food and not enough, hugged puppies, travelled through ten states, held three babies at once, played Risk until I fell asleep, got sand in places I didn’t know existed, climbed monuments, saw dinosaurs, drove over the Brooklyn Bridge, drank too many cups of coffee at hours I shouldn’t have been awake, visited memories, learned (more) Spanish, watched guitars being built, got an idea of how much of the Earth is filled with water, and made many, many discoveries.

I am a traveler by nature – my mom even calls me a gypsy – but I don’t know if that comes from curiosity, something you learn to want, or just the rawness of being born with it. Either way, I am a traveler to my bones. I enjoy ‘roughing it’ or jumping from hotel room to hotel room. I enjoy long car rides leading nowhere and stopping to take pictures. I enjoy the magnificence of man-made cities, but I enjoy the silent beauty of a God-created city more. All of these things are me and always have been.

I won’t dwell on all of the things that I love about traveling. I am sure many people feel the same way. However, I am going to give one piece of advice. The best way, and I do mean the best way, to see the United States, is by car. A road trip.

Some people may cringe at the idea of a road trip, some may rejoice, but the simple fact is that a country that large, with so many places to see, is best done by driving to each destination. Why? Because you will discover things that no one else has.

Every road trip is different. You could drive the same road dozens of times and still find something new, because each time you will stop at different places. Of course you will have your markers of where you are going, but that is just of what is known. My favorite part of a road trip is finding out what is unknown.

Once you go on a road trip, you won’t ever want to travel differently again. You will find things that your friends have never seen, feel freedom like a dog off a leash, eat food with names you cannot pronounce…

Road trips are a wondrous thing. See for yourself.

LOVE Niagara Falls NYC Gatekeeper Martin & Co

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2013 in Travel

 

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