Finding Christmas Cheer

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It was a winter's evening. Christmas lights illumined the tower, and the hum of voices filled the room. It should have been a cheery scene, but the topic of conversation lingered on finals,  to-do lists, and finding perfect gifts. Stress tangibly radiated from my dear friends as they recalled all they had to accomplish before Christmas break. 

This time of year can be stressful for everyone, and in the midst of our sheer busyness, we miss the joy that Christmas brings. That night in the tower, we realized that we were dreading the approach of Christmas because of the daunting list we had to tackle first. We were tired. We were stressed, and we were focusing on the wrong things. 

As soon as he realized how negative we were being, Telecounselor Luke posed two questions for us: 

1. What were we looking forward to the most during Christmas Break?" 

2. What was our favorite Christmas tradition? 

The mood changed instantly. Luke couldn't wait to celebrate his niece's first Christmas. Shardae was looking forward to seeing her family and watching the Twenty-Five Days of Christmas. Paige was getting to see her best friend who has been on the mission field for the past seventeen months.  Maggie was going to play board games and marathon the Harry Potter movies with her family. Callie couldn't wait to deck her home with cheery decorations with her dad, and Meredith was going to bake with her grandmother. 

Suddenly, we were all looking forward to Christmas Break and felt like we could handle the next few days because Christmas was on its way. The stress dissipated in light of all the good that awaited us. There was too much to be thankful for, so this Christmas season, don't focus on all you HAVE to do. Focus on all that you GET to do. Be thankful, and Christmas cheer will follow.