It’s the thought that counts

For All Occasions

 

It’s Christmas time – the season with a thousand parties, no money to spend on clothes, and no time to spend shopping for yourself, because you need to shop for everybody else.  Without the right attitude, that can be demoralizing.  Even miserable.  Who wants to be miserable at Christmas?  Nobody.  But the truth is, Christmas is a season that comes with so many expectations (both real and imaginary) that it is easy to get disappointed and miserable.  Any time we have an ideal vision, we have to decide how to react to changes BEFOREHAND.  Because it’s not going to be exactly how you imagine it.  That’s a given.  Do you want a beautiful frosty-snowy-silver-white Christmas?  You can’t control the weather, so decide beforehand what you’ll do if the blessed morning is wet and rainy.  It’s a good experiment in general – nobody wants to admit, “If it is wet and rainy, I will fume inwardly the entire day of Christmas.  Because the day will only be perfect if it snows.  If it does snow, I will be grateful and smile all day with love in my heart for everyone around me.”  I can’t control the weather – the only thing I get to control is how I react to the weather.  (Feeling very convicted right now – this is why I hate blogging sometimes.  I’m sure it’s very good for me and I need it.)
Anyway, long extended weather metaphor – we have a lot of expectations about clothing at Christmas.  In an ideal world, we have a perfect outfit for every party we attend, the perfect hat for caroling, the perfect boots for the snow.  And then winter hits and we have to hit the ground running to take care of everybody else’s clothes and everybody else’s presents and decorating the house.  So decide beforehand how you will react to not having the perfect dress for a Christmas cocktail party, because odds are good that you won’t have exactly what you are imagining.  You can decide to feel dowdy and run-down and boring, because it is the one dress you have and you’ve been wearing it to every party for the last five years, or it is the only dress that fits right now, or it suffers by comparison.
Okay – COMPARISONS.  That can be a real season-killer.  With Instagram and Facebook, you don’t even have to get to the party to feel ugly.  Do those pre-party selfies get anybody else down?  Does it ever make you want to not go at all?  If your heart drops and you spiritually give up after seeing another girl’s outfit on Instagram, you are dressing to compete.  Don’t dress to compete – dress to show that you are celebrating!  Choose to love what you have to wear.  If you are bored with your black dress, borrow a cool necklace (go ask your grandma – she has cool stuff).  Throw on your coolest jacket.  Pull those shoes out – the fancy ones that you had to buy when you were in that wedding.  There are all kinds of ways to make what you have look different and feel different.  Red lipstick always makes me feel ready to take on the world.  Find one aspect that makes you feel beautiful – that is all it takes.  I’ve gone very general/spiritual/philosophical on this one, so if you ever have any specific questions about how to use what you have, leave a question in the comments section.  I’d love to help you figure out whatever challenges you have – really, it would make my day.
When it comes to Christmas dressing, the most beautiful thing in the world is joy.  Joy comes from receiving unlimited love and having all that love to give other people.  That is what Christmas is all about.  Don’t let a failed vision or an unfulfilled expectation steal anything from you.  Don’t let comparisons with other people steal anything from you.  There is too much to be joyful about.
There is a beautiful verse from a Christmas carol that sums it up.  I’ll leave you with this, because nothing I can write can top it.  Merry Christmas, everybody.  Thanks for reading.
And ye who would the Christ Child greet
Your hearts also adorn,
That it may be a dwelling meet
For Him who now is born.
Let all unlovely things give place
To souls bedecked with heav’nly grace,
That ye may view His Holy face,
With joy on Christmas morn.
-Alfred Burt
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