That time is slowly approaching, the time little children dream of and hope and wish for.  The time is quickly approaching, the time frazzled parents want to make perfect and right for their little ones, yet somehow they just become short tempered and stressed to the max.  Has it always been this way or is this just of late?

I think it might have always been a little stressed but the older I get the worse stress it seems to be, the joy seems elusive to adults.  We act poised and put on a cheerful smile while all the while we are wondering what we are missing out on.  Did we get the last gift that our friends wanted, are we getting our children what they should have but not enough to spoil them.  Maybe we want to spoil them.  We try to think of extravagant gifts for those people who seem to have everything they want.

We dodge through isles like we are driving in traffic, we don’t notice the people we pass.  They become a blur and then we stop and sometimes we look and see that they too are in that maddening rush and don’t notice those around.  We are somehow fixated on some sort of tunnel vision to try and accomplish all we think we should.

Society and media place this huge burden of us and year after year it gets worse.  The stress, the anxiety, the busyness. Why buy into it?  Well, its the season for giving, and giving we must.  We give and give and run and run, till we are exhausted and just want to fall back into a soft recliner and let this whole season pass us by.

I have really checked out on Christmas, which used to be my favorite time of year.  Gathering around the table and playing Pictionary and other games. Making cookies to snack on and then lighting candles and reading the Christmas story in Luke.  Things were simpler.  Why did they have to change?  Why do we expect so much on Christmas.

People scoff when I tell them my favorite time of year is Thanksgiving.  Yet, we aren’t stressed then.  We gather, we commune, we play, we give thanks to God for everything we have from His mercy and grace to food and shelter, as well as health.  Its a time to gather and not be stressed.

I think this is one of the main reasons I love to travel at Christmas. I like to escape all the hustle and bustle.  Yes, I get two weeks off and my husband’s slow time is at Christmas so its convenient.  I like to get away and see how others celebrate without all the stress.  We don’t have to worry about if we got the right or wrong thing.  We don’t have to worry whether or not we spent enough.  Did we entertain enough?  Was the dinner extravagant enough?  All of that is put aside and we can just BE.

We can be with our families abroad learning more about what they want to do and see.  We can teach them kindness to others they encounter that are so different from us, but yet the same in so many ways.  We grow together more but a little apart, as our children mature and become their own adults.  I love to share the experiences with family going away is just another way to do that.

Do we all need to travel in order to leave the hustle behind?  You tell me.  Are you able to find peace during this stressful time or do you too desire to check out and leave this commercialized holiday with all its buzz behind?

Don’t get me wrong, I believe in celebrating the baby Jesus and His Love but that should be a daily celebration not one we look back on once a year.   For those of you that can handle all the hustle and busyness, I wonder how do you do it and do you long to escape it too?