Thankful: Keeping Christmas Well

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I’m thankful for the genuine friendship of my friend Vanessa. Even though we live almost 2,000 miles away from each other, I know that I can count on her anytime, day or night, and that she’ll always be real with me.

I’m thankful that there are people who care. Whether they are holiday bell ringers, volunteers on the ground in the Philippines assisting with typhoon relief, or children raising money for clean water wells on the African continent, I’m so thankful for people who care.

I’m thankful for my hardworking husband who is generous in spirit and in action, whose every breath is for his family and friends.

I’m thankful that my husband wants to hold my hand in the car, and hang on me in the grocery store — that he tells me I’m always beautiful to him.

I’m thankful for my first new winter coat since college.

I’m thankful for our little girl Maile, and for the “bean” in my belly. I’m thankful for the opportunity to be a mother.

I’m thankful for chili and corn bread made from scratch, and for hot chocolate.

I’m thankful for laughter, even when it doesn’t come easily … especially when it doesn’t come easily.

I’m thankful for the women who give me this space (and others), so that I can earn some income from home.

I’m thankful to live in a world where there are godparents, aunties and uncles, marmees and papas, gigis and pop-pops.

I often think that it’s more difficult to live a life of intentional thanks after Thanksgiving. We get caught up in the hustle and bustle (read: madness) of preparing for Christmas. Some of us spend money we don’t really have on people we don’t really even like. The things that matter are lost as we run around trying to outdo one another. It’s a spectacle, and spectacle is a euphemism.

This morning, I’d like to encourage everyone (myself included) to focus less on having more, on putting on a show, on turning Christmas into a competition. I’d like to encourage you to be more. Be more thankful. Be more intentional. Be more thoughtful. People won’t remember that you didn’t send a Christmas card one year, or that you gave your child 40+ gifts for Christmas. What people will remember, to paraphrase Charles Dickens, is that you kept Christmas, and kept it well.

How do you stay grounded during the holiday season? Share with us in the comments below, or send me a tweet! You can also visit my “christmastide” Pinterest board, chock full of pretty, soothing wintry images, and fun (pressure free!) activities.

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About Katie

Katie lives in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado, where she raises her sweet daughter, Maile, who just turned two! Katie has been married to the love of her life for going on 6 years; every one of those years as a roughneck wife. The family also includes two spaniels, a very persnickety old cat, and two aquatic frogs. Katie spends most of her time reading books with her little one, going down the slide at the park 10,000 times, painting and playing pretend, and dreaming of growing all her own food. You can also find her at her family lifestyle blog, See You There.

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