Happy New Year my friends! I wanted to post to say hello and wish you all a very happy, blessed, joyous & prosperous new year and then found this in my inbox and thought I'd share it with you since it pretty much sums up the way I feel today as well. Enjoy.....
Holiday Hangover, by Sarah Stirman
Here it is just a few days after Christmas and I've done it again: I'm
suffering from yet another holiday hangover. Not the kind that comes
from indulging in too much alcohol, though the fit of my pants
indicates that overindulgence of something needs to be addressed. I
have the kind of holiday hangover you get from overspending,
overeating, over-scheduling, and overdoing.
Every year I start the season with a deep resolve and an optimistic
plan. I will budget for Christmas for several months so that my family
will not be eating lint-covered Christmas candy from the bottom of our
stockings as a meal by mid-January. I will deck the halls in manageable
stages so that I am not getting out the last of the decorations on
December 24 to put away on December 26. I will limit our family's
activities so that when it comes time to distribute the gifts on
Christmas morning we still recognize each other. Those are always the
plans. Then I wake up, it's December 26, and this Christmas season has
looked like all of the others.
It's the expense of Christmas that gets me every year. The postage for
the Christmas cards, the "one last" decoration we need, the "little
gifts" that add up and add up, even the food we consume this time of
year seems to total a staggering amount. Then my children are out of
school and expect to eat during the day. What's that about? I bought
them Christmas gifts, they expect me to feed them, as well? And
wouldn't it be a lovely Christmas outing for us to go to the movies
together as a family? Kids, I hope you learned something, because we
just spent your first year of college on a two hour movie and one tub
of popcorn. Even with gasoline prices dropping, a 1,000 mile trip isn't
cheap on the fuel tank!
I try not to resent the overwhelming total of this time of year. It is
completely within my power to change what my family spends and every
year I have grand intentions of doing just that. But I seem to simply
take the path of least resistance and most expense, and then gripe
So here it is the limbo-week between Christmas and New Year's -- time
to look back and look forward. I have a moment to slow down and
evaluate. Financial folks will tell you it's time to make an end of
year evaluation of your finances. Once I've found all the spare change
in the couch, I'm through with that exercise. It's also a good time to
take an overall life evaluation. Is what I'm living reflecting what I
say I believe?
My thoughts turn to the expense of the season. I look back and count
the outrageous cost of this holiday. I repent of my extravagance as I
think about the original cost of this holiday: "For God so loved the
world that he gave his one and only Son ..." (John 3:16 NIV). I
sprinkle the financial blessings God has given me on various things
throughout this season, but God gave all He had for the season. He
allowed his only child to leave his heavenly home and come to this
flawed world. He did that so "... that whoever believes in him shall
not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). Amazing.
I look toward 2009 with a grateful heart. Thankful for another day,
possibly another year, to live a life of gratitude, possibly a life of
moderation, and share His blessings with the people He puts in my path.