Tis the Season of Gratitude

Monday, December 3, 2012

Tis the Season for Gratitude: A monthly series dedicated to spreading a little bit of joy and gratitude around blogland.  A gentle reminder that a grateful heart is what this season is all about!  We hope you join us this month to help spread the Holiday cheer as we share stories, crafts, photos, and even a giveaway! :)

HAPPY DECEMBER SWEET FRIENDS!  I am so excited for today for so many reasons.
1. Its December.  December is the best month.
2. December is Christmas AND my birthday.  Boom.  Double Whammy. 
3. Today is the first day of a month long series I'm doing with 3 amazing blogland friends - Sheila, Susan and Kelley. Every Monday one of us will post something holiday related while the others will link to their post.  Today is the first day and guess what?  I'M UP!  Along with some photos from Matt and I's first Christmas as an old married couple :)

One thing I love about this time of the year (among about 50,000 other things) is the sense of joy in the air.  I think everyone smiles a little wider, hugs a little longer and shares more freely around Christmas.  It just has that feel good time-ness about it.  Leaves you feeling like you helped someone out.

But there is something else that tends to show up this time a year – something not so warm and fuzzy.  It’s a word I don’t use often and it’s a word I never thought applied to me – until yesterday.  I was leading a middle school small group and the topic was gluttony.  What’s the first thing that comes to mind?  Overeating of course.  Eating too much.  Eating too often.  Eating when you’re not hungry.  That is the definition of gluttony right?  So I thought. 

While yes that can be a part of the word gluttony, it is much more than that.  It is having or doing anything in excess.  It is when something in your life becomes a “need” when in reality it’s not such a thing.  It’s when something is coming between your relationship with God, your relationship with your family, maybe your relationship with yourself.  It’s putting something on a pedestal.  It could be eating, yes.  Or it could be technology – maybe you are instagramming it a little too much and not taking in the moments.  Maybe it’s even blogs?  Are you holding your blogs on a pedestal as if you need them?  Maybe you get wrapped up in the gifts and the shopping?  I know I do…

That definition definitely applies to me.  Especially this time of year.  In the season of giving, I often become consumed with finding “the perfect gift” for a loved one.  I will shop and compare prices and Amazon reviews until I carefully make the right choice.  I spend so much time on the buying of the gift that I forget that it’s really the thought behind the gift that the receiver will appreciate.   Now don’t get me wrong.  In no way at all am I saying that thoughtful gift-giving is a sin or wrong in any way.  Thoughtful gift-giving is a privilege and one of the best things about this time of year.  But in my life, it can take over.  I will spend 2-3 hours a night looking on the internet for gift options instead of asking my husband how his day was.  I will check Gilt Group right at 12 noon instead of focusing on the student I’m working with.  OH and not to mention when I come across something that maybe I would want a as a gift.  My wallet suffers from both ends!  In my life, it can get in the way and it can just become too much. 

So during this season of Gratitude I am challenging myself.  Challenging myself to spend less time on the gift-shopping and more time on the family cuddling.  Less time on the sale-scouting and more time on fireside chats.  Because in the end, we are celebrating this month.  We are celebrating something so much bigger than our idea of “the perfect gift.”  We are celebrating literally the Perfect Gift.  Jesus.  God’s one and only Son.  His birth and ultimately the salvation He brought each one of us.  And in the end it’s the people in our lives that need us more than we need the stuff.
Sevilla giving her dad kisses.
So what is it you struggle with when it comes to excess?  Any ideas or suggestions for remaining grounded during this excess-filled season?

Also – want to participate in our December link-up?  Copy and paste the button above on your Holiday Post and leave a comment below so we can come find you!!

Also - hop over and say hello to Sheila, Susan and Kelley!!

Find me here: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | Subscribe


Svenja said...

Lovely post!
I love the holidays as well. My struggle in the season, are cookies. I am in a constant "I can resist the temptation mode" mode now, after I ate slightly too many last week ;-)


Sheila@TheFailteHouse said...

Wow - I love this, Denise! And oh so true. The world tells us we need to give to others to make it a Christmas season, but really we just need to love. I would say I struggle with feeling I need to give to everyone at Christmas time too - but really need to remember a simple letter or some quality time with them could mean even more. I am going to focus on that this year :) Beautiful post - xo

Suz said...

WOW. So well said. This was amazing and SO TRUE. I love how you said this holiday season isn't about finding the perfect gift, but the Perfect Gift is what Jesus did for us on the cross. This may be one of my favorite blog posts of all time!

Jena Roach said...

Y'all are so cute! :) Yay for December and Christmas! Your pup is so stinkin adorable!

Unknown said...

love the post! i have one teed up tomorrow about gratitude, too! tis the season for it :)

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's like you're taking a peek into my heart! You've said everything I've been thinking and feeling lately. I'm on a little bit of a getting-rid-of-excess kick.

Aspiring Kennedy said...

Thank you for the reminder to keep the holidays in perspective and remember what is truly important.

Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs