A New Mindset for Christmas

I don’t know about you, but it feels like all of a sudden, we’re in the final sprint towards Christmas.

Anyone else?

Like – we blinked, and it was Halloween. Then we looked away for one second, and it was Thanksgiving. And NOW, we look up, and it’s like we just rounded the final corner, and the Christmas “finish line” is just one 100 meter dash away.

Tomorrow will be 10 days left until Christmas Eve. Ten days.

And, I also don’t know about you, but I have approximately 3.9% of my Christmas shopping done. Yeah…three point nine…AKA: I have done none of it, minus a little trinket I found back in August at a shop in Lake Tahoe I thought my sister-in-law would like.

So I am…a little behind schedule.

And everywhere we turn, we’re bombarded by sales, and “XX Number of Shopping Days Left”, and “buy early because of the shipping crisis,” and not to mention the fact that everything is 50% more expensive than usual because of this crumbling country’s dang inflation. I just spent 9 dollars for one dozen eggs today. NINE DOLLARS.

Christmas to-do list can bring stress and Grinch-like demeanors. After a weekend of birthday celebrations, I’ve adopted a new mindset for Christmas! #christmas #xmas #catholic #jesus #god #bible #prayer #christianity #family #faith

Those chickens had better been hand-fed golden bugs while getting a massage in a temperature-controlled boudoir for that price.

But I digress.

I doubt I’m the only one that is feeling that sort of strain this Christmas.

The pressure of gift buying, booking flights home, holiday tips, Christmas parties, addressing Christmas cards, etc…it’s just…a lot.

And to be honest, it can really take the jolly out of the season.

Over the weekend, it was my special gentleman’s birthday. (And if you follow me on Instagram, you saw some fun photos/videos from the celebration in real time)…

Christmas to-do list can bring stress and Grinch-like demeanors. After a weekend of birthday celebrations, I’ve adopted a new mindset for Christmas! #christmas #xmas #catholic #jesus #god #bible #prayer #christianity #family #faith

On Sunday, Steven and I spent the day with his family in New Jersey for his birthday. And after dinner, we all gathered around the Advent wreath, and his little nephews and niece did the readings and we all took turns doing part of the prayers, lighting the candles, etc. It was so beautiful.

And this morning, during my morning jog, as I was mentally making my daunting “To-Do” list for the day, my mind kept going back to that special moment around the Advent wreath together. And that’s when I realized: that’s what I had been missing this whole time. That powerful centering on Jesus, His coming to this earth as a baby, and what that means for my life.

Christmas to-do list can bring stress and Grinch-like demeanors. After a weekend of birthday celebrations, I’ve adopted a new mindset for Christmas! #christmas #xmas #catholic #jesus #god #bible #prayer #christianity #family #faith

And I decided right then and there that from now forward, I was going to shift my focus and adopt a new mindset for Christmas — and really for every day.

This weekend, there were lots of celebrations for Steven’s birthday. And we walked away from the weekend just being so filled with joy and love from being together with loved ones. There was so much love in that room that night at his party, and with his family the following day. So much love.

And that’s what is important this Christmas: it’s not the presents, or making sure the house is immaculate for guests, or that the Christmas lights on the outside of the house match the enthusiasm of the neighbor’s display…no. It’s being with people who you love and care about.

Christmas to-do list can bring stress and Grinch-like demeanors. After a weekend of birthday celebrations, I’ve adopted a new mindset for Christmas! #christmas #xmas #catholic #jesus #god #bible #prayer #christianity #family #faith

But what’s more…is remembering why all those people are together. This weekend, we were together to celebrate Mr. Special Gentleman…our friend/son/brother/uncle(Tito)/or in my case, boyfriend. 🙂 That was the purpose, and it gave the time together such a special meaning.

Christmas to-do list can bring stress and Grinch-like demeanors. After a weekend of birthday celebrations, I’ve adopted a new mindset for Christmas! #christmas #xmas #catholic #jesus #god #bible #prayer #christianity #family #faith

This Christmas, I want to really focus on why we’re getting together with loved ones and family. Why we’re celebrating, exchanging gifts, decking the halls, practicing special traditions we only do this time of year.

At Christmas, we’re all celebrating together, because we love Jesus, and it’s His birthday. It’s when He humbly came down to earth in poverty, as a child, to ultimately die for your and my sins.

He came to save the world. And we’re celebrating that.

That’s the purpose behind the merriment.

“The reason for the season,” if you will allow me to be so cliche.

But it’s true. And when you start operating with that mindset, it just puts everything else into perspective. All of a sudden, the gifts are just gifts, the travel isn’t so stressful, and there’s a peace that comes from gazing upon the manger…who’s cradle is empty as we await His coming.

That new mindset, invites a shift in focus, rather than preparing the house and the presents and the cards…I should prepare my heart.

Christmas to-do list can bring stress and Grinch-like demeanors. After a weekend of birthday celebrations, I’ve adopted a new mindset for Christmas! #christmas #xmas #catholic #jesus #god #bible #prayer #christianity #family #faith

I should focus on creating in my spirit an inviting home for the Christchild, as He is born into this world to ultimate give His life for me in love.

So. I would like to invite you to join me and do the same. Because what is Christmas if we remove Jesus from the equation? It’s just another day of consumerism and gluttony, to be honest.

Let’s celebrate the real meaning of Christmas today, and every day.

Christmas to-do list can bring stress and Grinch-like demeanors. After a weekend of birthday celebrations, I’ve adopted a new mindset for Christmas! #christmas #xmas #catholic #jesus #god #bible #prayer #christianity #family #faith

To hear my story, click here.

“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5


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43 responses to “A New Mindset for Christmas”

    • Thank you Tim, I appreciate your prayers! And yeah! 9 dollars is absolutely EGGregious!! heheh Hugs and love xox

  1. Lovely photos of you and Steven, Caralyn! Nine bucks for a dozen eggs is so wrong, I believe that the many ships sitting offshore around the country that are unable to offload due to Covid and worker shortages has a lot to do with the ridiculous prices and why my local grocer sometimes has empty shelves. Two thumbs up for adopting a different mindset for this Christmas! As usual though, the TV adverts and other ads completely leave out the reason for this wonderful season – Jesus! It really bothers me, and that some people spell Christmas as Xmas. You can’t ever X out the Lord. Be safe and well you guys!

    • Thank you so much John! 🙂 I know, 9 bucks is an absolute joke. And you’re right, the shipping crisis is causing turmoil in a lot of different areas! I agree, that bothers me too. It just goes to show the importance of having a church community with whom you can actually celebrate the true meaning of chirstmas with. hugs to you and yours, John! xox

      • Hugs for you and yours too! We must remind ourselves and others that He is still in control of all of this and for that I am very grateful. Be well! 🙏🏻

      • amen and amen! That’s exactly what I needed to hear right now, so thank you, Hugs and love xox

    • haha Oh Jeanne, I am right there with you. If it helps, online is actually a great option…and if – like me – your Christmas involves traveling on an airplane, getting the items shipped to your destination is actually really helpful. Hugs and love xox

    • Hi Jeanne! That is a beautiful thought, thank you for that! We actually do give to a charity every year as one of our family gifts. And it’s actually my turn to choose which charity! Actually, as soon as I’m finished working tonight, I’m going to turn my attention to choosing which one! Thank you for stopping by! Merry Christmas! Hugs and love xox

  2. I’ll be happy to join you, Caralyn! I’ll wrap the eggs as a Christmas present for you this year!
    . Beautiful post. Merry Christmas to you and yours.
    Ps… you look radiant! I know this will be a very special one for you and I couldn’t be happier for you.❤️

    • hahah oh my gosh too funny! That would definitely be the most interesting present under the tree! haha Aw, thank you for saying that! I certainly am the happiest I have ever been. I am so grateful. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love and Merry Christmas! xox

  3. With only 10 days to Christ’s Mass, Anita and I wish you and Steven and all your families the merriest Christmas ever and an even Happier New Year!
    Maybe next year in the New Jerusalem! Maranatha, even so, come Lord Jesus. ❤️&🙏, c.a.

    • aw, thank you so much!! Same to you, my friend. Wouldn’t that be just amazing…come Lord Jesus! Merry Christmas, my dear friend! Hugs and love xox

  4. Caralyn, I’m going to challenge you on Christmas plans. You want to focus on Jesus this Christmas, but you are still making plans to buy a lot and do a lot. You only have so much time and attention span. If you REALLY want to focus on Jesus, cut out as much of the other stuff as possible.

    13 years ago, I was laid off and that began the long slide into bankruptcy and losing everything. We haven’t put up a tree, decorated, or bought presents since. I sent no cards for years and now send a fraction of the cards I used to. I’ve found that what was a necessity has become a blessing. There is no frantic activity to “get it all done in time!” There is no need to worry about a budget. There’s no post-Christmas letdown and depression, having to face putting everything away again. We go to church and sing the familiar songs, concentrate on Jesus, and that’s enough.

    Maybe the gift we should give is simply ourselves. After all, Jesus made Himself the gift. Why not follow suit? I know traditions are hard to drop. I wouldn’t have but for calamity. It is now a blessing.

    Every year everyone says they are going to do it better this year. Every year we hear sermons to that effect. Every year I write about this in my blog. Yet, we collectively keep doing the same thing, which I why we keep hearing the same messages.

    Tie a ribbon around your neck with a nice bow on the side. You give yourself to everyone and everyone gives the bow a symbolic tug, “opening” the gift of you and getting a kiss…cheek, lips…whatever’s appropriate.

    Well, those are my thoughts. Consider this my Christmas present to you – a piece of myself presented to a friend with love and good thoughts.

    • Oh my goodness, Jeff..maybe it’s the instrumental violin Christmas music I’ve got playing in the background right now, but your reflection got me all choked up. Thank you so much for sharing this. I am so moved by that thought: following Jesus’ example and giving of ourselves this Christmas. That is so incredibly beautiful, and I love it. You’re right – we hear a message about slowing down every year, but then 364 days later, it’s the same exact thing: too much focus on buying, stuff, things that ultimately don’t matter. Church, singing songs in worship and Jesus. That is the trifecta of what *really* matters. It’s as simple as that night in the manger, when all they had was eachother and God. Gosh, it makes me rethink everything. Jeff, I lovingly receive your beautiful Christmas gift, and I likewise, present the same. Thank you for always shedding light on a different view of Jesus’ heart. Reading your words is always so fruitful. Grateful for you and your friendship, Jeff. With love and hugs to you and your family!

      • Like you, I’m a little choked up right now. Olivia reminded me today that it was 20 years ago today we left for a family vacation week in London. I’ve been teary all day with memories, and now such a lovely message from my “3rd daughter.” Thank you for your warmth and kindness. My best to you and yours!!❤

    • Hey Ryan! Thanks so much, it really is! And you’re right about that – His grace and love and mercy…those are such amazing gifts we receive not only on Christmas, but every moment of every day! Hugs and love xox

  5. My pastor called it being a “Second Coming Christian.” As you said, making Jesus the focus every day, day in and day out, knowing that one day HE WILL RETURN to gather His church.

    If we believe that, we certainly should live that, prepared for His return.

    • Oh wow – I love that thought. And it’s so true — He will return, and that will be such a joyful day! And we absolutely should live in preparation for that important day. thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  6. Thank you, love your messages and reminders. You and your family have a beautiful and blessed Christmas. Still in shock over the eggs. We normally pay $2 here in Arizona and right now eggs are .64 cents a dozen for the sale item this week at our local grocery store. Limit two dozen per family.

    • aw thank you so much 🙂 And same to you and yours! haha – yeah…9 dollar eggs is EGGregious! hahah Oh dang, stock up!!! that price is amazing! Hugs and love xox

    • yes! you’re right about that, Ian…the ONE and ONLY reason for the season! And Hallmark movies come in at a strong #2 😉 hahah juuuuuust kidding! hope you’re doing well, friend! Hugs and love xox

  7. We wish you joy and happiness with the feasts and joys of the birthday of Christ, our master Jesus, son of Mary. We love the Prophet Jesus, we love the Prophet Moses, and we love all the prophets because they are prophets and messengers sent by God Almighty to guide mankind towards the path of truth, light and peace.
    Likewise, God Almighty sealed His message through the last of the prophets, the Prophet Muhammad bin Abdullah, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him, so we believe in him and love him.
    Thank you, you are amazing and beautiful

  8. Right you are about shifting our focus from the Season to the Reason – JESUS!
    (On another note, $9 for a dozen eggs!!! AAAGGHH!!! My backyard chickens, bless ’em, just became my best friends.)

    • Thank you HJ! Yes!! Keeping our focus on Jesus is so important this Christmas, and every day! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

    • and oh yeah — the already high prices at the nyc grocery stores have recently become absolutely obscene

  9. I believe your current mindset is enveloped in many homes this year. I am hearing (and feeling myself) much more focused and intentional in what the Season really means and the best (most impactful) ways to share that with those I love or who I come in contact with. It has been a challenging year, both personally and indeed in our world, and yet He remains the consoling constant. So I seek to honor Him this Season, in more meaningful ways than I have before…and the best way I can think of is to love others as He has loved us. Hugs to you Caralyn for once again sharing your heart with us – the Spirit moves so beautifully through you that I appreciate all you take the time to so willingly share. 😘

  10. Beautifully written Caralyn!
    We have very little acknowledgement of God and Jesus in this country anymore. Nationally Christmas is no longer honored as a holy time of the year with abundant joy and recognition of God and the birth of His Son. It has been so distorted that Christ is given only a small fragment of recognition. Very little reference is made to Christ and the main objective is the observance of gift giving and the sale of merchandise to profit the merchants. People who will profess and maintain that the true meaning of Christmas is Christ are few and far between, in this era. The days are gone when Sundays were filled with TV programs viewing Church services with beautiful religious music that included Christ and all the majesty of Him. Our country had its beginning and basis in the belief and reverence of God and His Son Jesus Christ, and that is what made it the greatest nation on earth. We had God’s blessing as we honored Him and kept His Commandants in the land. But, little by little over the years, God and His Son have been eroded from this country as well as our justice system. The result is that very little reference is made to God and His beloved and only begotten Son. How can we expect God to show favor to us when we have thrown Him out of our schools and prohibited prayer?

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