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Dec 7, 2023

From - A MINUTE FOR CAREGIVERS - When Every Day Feels Like Monday. How many caregivers put themselves through unnecessary stress trying to re-create Christmas traditions?

While a tree, decorations, meals, and gifts remain important, too many allow trappings to eclipse the season’s meaning. Sometimes, the fear that this may be our loved one’s last Christmas pushes us to ensure everything is perfect. But what have we accomplished if we’re exhausted or resentful by December 26?

One of the great joys I’ve experienced living in Montana is the opportunity to slow down. When we lived in Nashville, it seemed we raced around at breakneck speeds. The Christmas season there seemed frenetic on a good day. Here in Madison County, I am learning to move at the pace of the weather, the people, and the odd deer, elk, or cow on the road.

If, as Andy Williams so spectacularly sang, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” should we not savor Christmas rather than suffer through it? The decorations don’t have to look like last year’s. The menu may change, and the gifts may be more personal than opulent. The time we spend with one another and reflecting on the season’s meaning brings more value than our labors or purchasing powers. Nostalgia doesn’t spread Christmas cheer—hearts do.   

May we not “spend” Christmas or “observe” Christmas but rather “keep” it. —Rev. Peter Marshall