I feel like hustle & bustle are two words that we hear pretty often around the Christmas season - among all of the words that we associate with the holiday season, busy always seems to be among the most common. I can vouch for myself on this one, when someone asks me how I'm doing around the Thanksgiving/Christmas seasons, I usually say something along the lines of "oh, I'm great! But I'm just busy, have a lot going on."
The other week I was actually thinking about our week ahead and we had something planned just about every night, which was great, but I couldn't help to think about how busy we were and when I was going to have time to get some of the other things I needed to do done in addition to the things we already had planned for the week - I mean I needed to order Christmas presents, go to the post office, write my blog, print pictures for a gift, help make Christmas cards, get groceries, do laundry, clean the house, etc. Bottom line - I felt like I had so much to do and it felt overwhelming.
And then I thought to myself, "this is literally the most wonderful time of the year" and here I am feeling overwhelmed and stressed - this is supposed to be the most joyous season of the whole year, NOT a time to feel stressed and overwhelmed.
And then I realized that if I were stressed and feeling overwhelmed in this time of joy, than maybe my priorities were perhaps out of place.
One reason for my stress was trying to figure out what I wanted to get Taylor for Christmas, because I always like to be creative and get him something that isn't on his list but that I know he wants and this year I was just having the hardest time trying to figure out what I wanted to buy him while also having a pretty limited budget.
Luckily I had collected some gift cards over the past few months and used those to buy two of his gifts, but I wanted to give him one more thing and so I called my mom, dad and sister to get their opinions on what I should buy him and my Mom told me, "you know Em, the gifts you have gotten him are really great already and he's going to love them - why do you feel like you need to get him more?" and I remember getting a little frustrated and saying, "well, just because Mom - I want to get him more" but then after I got off of the phone with her, I thought to myself about how right she was. Why did I feel like I needed to get him more? I was stressing over a third gift to get my husband and then I realized just how silly that was.
This was a real moment of clarity for me - I was thinking that I was doing okay, because I really just wanted to get Taylor the things that he really loves. He deserves it and I love being able to get him gifts. But I think I was so focused on getting him really nice stuff and I was looking at the monetary value of the gift - it wasn't until that moment on the phone call with my mom that I realized that there are so many gifts that I can give Taylor that I know he would love and they cost little to no money.
I had to remind myself of the days when we first began dating and we were both poor college kids - our gifts were nothing extraordinary, but they were straight from the heart and those are some of our most prized possessions to this day.
I feel as though this holiday has become so materialistic and far from what is what it was meant to be: the celebration of Christ our Savior's birth. When I really sit and think about the true meaning of Christmas, I feel a profound joy and those feelings of stress seem to go away - I was caught up in the material meaning of Christmas, like so many are today, and I simply forgot to really surround myself in the joy that the Christmas season is about - it is a season of giving, love and joy.
I don't know that the hustle & bustle of the holiday season will ever go away and I sort of hope it doesn't. It's fun - I love all of the fun that surrounds the season. The lights, the parties, music, shows, Christmas trees, shopping and all of the fun things that make the season so magical. I just hope that in all of the hustle & bustle that people don't ever forget to stop and take a moment to remember what it is that we are celebrating this Christmas season and that is the birth of Baby Jesus.
Now - as I said earlier, I was feeling overwhelmed by the season, but after I shifted my priorities a little bit and realized that time spent with friends and family was far more important than having my house impeccably clean or my laundry done immediately, I stopped feeling so overwhelmed and stressed and finally soak in the true meaning of the season.
So . . . my laundry is currently spilling over the basket, my house is a bit messy and my dishwasher is FULL, but our hearts are filled with an overwhelming amount love from being surrounded by those that we love most - let me just say that moving to a new city and not knowing anyone is a daunting task . . . we have been fortunate and blessed to have found an amazing group of friends and I know that I can speak for both Taylor and I and say that we are so completely grateful to have each of them in our lives.
And with that being said, we are feeling so incredibly grateful this Christmas season. Grateful for our families, our friends, our jobs, our home, our car and most of all - our faith in Jesus, for he gave us the greatest gift of all.
. . . .
I was really hoping to share some pictures with y'all from our week, but honestly I complete forgot to take any! However, we did have my work party on Thursday and it was so fun - and the best part is, I GOT A PICTURE!
The party was at The Caswell House here in Austin and it was BEAUTIFUL!
I LOVE all of the Christmas festivities surrounding this time of year - it really is the most wonderful time of year!
Only ONE WEEK until CHRISTMAS!!!!!
- XO -
I'm Emilee. Twenty-something. Homebody. Believer in a simple + intentional life. Daughter of the King. Living in Austin with my hubs.
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