Traditions – I love them! Especially when they bring special memories and unite a family with ties that others may not understand. It’s that family’s “little secret.”
The little Elf on a Shelf is a cute idea. But I find if I’m not careful, there’s another little Elf that sits on my shelf at Christmas. The name of this elf is “Me.” Weird, huh? Yeah, it is, but it is named for a purpose.
You see, at Christmastime I look at all that has to be done, and I realize that it’s pretty much me that has to get it all accomplished. This list includes:
- Shopping for gifts
- Writing out cards
- Sending the cards
- Getting the house ready for guests
- Entertaining the guests we invite in
- Wrapping presents
I look at my list and I sigh. That little Me elf pops up and says, “It’s all up to Me! We won’t have Christmas without Me!” And boy, does that elf have an attitude! She huffs and puffs while working. She sighs too often. She misses out on the joy that Christmas is!
If I spot that little Me elf soon enough in the day, I can salvage my attitude by taking all my responsibilities to the Lord. I cry out to Him and say, “Oh, Lord, please establish the work of my hands today. Help me to only do what You want me to do. Help me to let go of the work that is unnecessary. Quiet my heart and help me to be a blessing to the ones for whom I’m doing this work today. Amen.”
I find that when I pray that prayer, the Lord does indeed give wisdom to let go of what is not needed or fruitful. I have wisdom to understand when I need to back away from too many responsibilities, or from the perfectionism that I demand of myself.
Do you struggle with your attitude during this busy season? Perhaps you just need to let go of some things or delegate responsibilities to other family members, if possible. Back away from some things that don’t have to be done (so what if the lights don’t get strung around the front porch?). Buy some baked goods, or make less. Narrow your activities to only the things that are really the best things. Break up your work and schedule time to rest or do something you enjoy, like watching a Christmas movie or driving around to see the lights in the neighborhood.
We need to take that little Me Elf and put it back in its box. Unlike the fun little Elf on the Shelf idea, this elf needs to remain hidden, rather than found! A woman with a sweet attitude at Christmas may just be the best family tradition to pass along!