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10 Minutes Peace

    by Susan McGrath

Surviving Christmas
Date Posted: December 9, 2006

The craziness and stress began for some well before Thanksgiving. For others it will not culminate until a frenzied shopping spree has been completed the Saturday before Christmas, which, by the way, this year is on the 23rd!) Many Christians are sucked into this holiday whirlwind with the rest of the world. Throw in a freak ice storm which cuts off the power to thousands (as I am working around this weekend) and instead of a peaceful, joyous celebration of our Savior, the Christmas season has been relegated by many as a time to be dreaded and survived.

We see it portrayed in Hollywood - the family squabbles over every little thing, the competition with the neighbors for the best light display, the outright wrestling and trampling through the toy department to get the most popular toy for the kids. A little comedy to relieve the stress of the season is great and I laugh 'til I cry at some of those movie scenes, but what about the other side?

Is the softer, gentler side of Christmas to be found only in the living nativity scene in a neighborhood church or the Christmas Eve candlelight service? Can we bring some of this peace and tranquility into the everyday of our Christmas season? I decided this year (before the ice storm altered my plans slightly) that I would have my decorating and shopping done early, not commit to so many Christmas activities and programs that I was meeting myself coming and going like the Duncan Donuts man, get my Christmas cards out the first week of December and listen to more Christmas music. Lofty goals, I know, but simple plans that I hope will lead to a less stressful, more enjoyable and, most of all, more meaningful Christmas.

I guess I would like to recapture the magic of Christmas that I felt not just as a child, but until I had kids of my own. With that extra responsibility and outpouring of energy came the need to leave the wonder of Christmas to the children and assume a more adult role. Well, I'm tired of being the adult all the time so I plan to have Christmas like a kid this year. I want to sing Christmas songs loudly and play in the snow (not ice - snow) and make snow ice cream and drive around looking at Christmas lights. I want to read the Christmas story to my kids and sit with them at a special church service instead of directing it. I want to do more than survive Christmas - I want to share the joy of my Savior through a song, a smile or a Christmas cookie with the people I encounter during my day.

I want to remind everyone that Christmas isn't just for kids!

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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