Everything is Bigger at Christmas

Aaron Burden

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is only one week away. I have been busy but not SO busy that I forget the reason for the season. There are many wonderful sights and sounds during the holidays and it is easy to get caught up in it all- the quest for the perfect presents, home holiday decor, cookie recipes, you name it.

I went shopping with a friend the other day and in every store we went into, the gift ideas were overwhelming. It was all about the red and green and white and lovely and sparkly. It was clothes, jewelry, perfume, gift wrap, slippers, purses….I could go on and on. It was hard to reign myself in but I did stick to my budget pretty well. It was a tough challenge.

Heidi Sandstrom

So many things are bigger at Christmas. I wanted to take a few minutes to share what I think is the better of the bigger. I hope you share your favorite thing(s) with me in either the comment section or on my Facebook page.

  1. The trees are bigger. I love big trees and I was lucky enough to see The Nutcracker at the Benedum Center this year. The concert hall is beautiful enough to begin with but add a tree, big red ribbons, and musicians and it gets downright gorgeous. I basked in the light of the tree and then in the amazing ballet. I took my mom with me and I’m sure this will be a memory for years to come.
  2. Our hearts are bigger. This is the biggest giving season of all. Don’t forget to write a check to your church or favorite charity. If it’s not in your budget, do some acts of loving kindness. Donate the stuff you no longer wear to the nearest shelter, serve dinner at the soup kitchen, help a neighbor by shoveling his/her driveway.
  3. Expectations are bigger. This is the one thing I try to keep in perspective. It gets easier as I get older. Material things do not hold that much meaning for me any longer. I temper my expectations to allow that everyone is busy, overwhelmed, and tired. I make the effort to love everyone for who they are and not what I think they should be. I keep the focus on love and the reason for the season and I’m a much happier person.
  4. Appetites are bigger. There’s so many good parties with sweets and food. It’s such a temptation. I read those “How to Eat Less at your Office Party” articles but the fact is, I don’t feel good when I overeat. I don’t want to get carried away so I do my best to temper my intake. I save my appetite for those things that I truly want and that’s my splurge. Let’s hope I can keep this attitude. 😉
  5. We miss our departed loved ones bigger. I miss my dad, grandparents, church friends, good friends who I’ve lost. I light my prayer candle almost every day and remember them often. I cannot bring them back but I know they would want me to keep going, keep loving, and keep them in my heart. That’s what I try and do.

I wrote a post for the Orthodox Christian Network this week and it’s up. Click HERE for the link. I wrote about St. Nicholas and I talked about my grandfather (who was named Nicholas) and it brought back so many memories of him. I can see him in his backyard walking or tending his huge gardenia plant in the sunroom. I can hear him chuckling over his favorite tv shows and I can feel the warmth of his hugs. I read my post to my mom and she loved it. We were in heaven over the picture of her parents. I’m almost certain that photo was taken the night before or the day of my wedding. What a wonderful ordinary into extraordinary moment this was for both me and my mom.

Keep your heart in the right place and this Christmas will be a good one. This post dedicated to Alex – May your memory be eternal. 

Heinz Hall- Even the chandelier is gorgeous!
Heinz Hall chandelier- You are the Light of the World
Join me on my graceful journey.

19 Replies to “Everything is Bigger at Christmas”

  1. Another wonderful blog! Thank you for sharing! I miss ‘home’ at Christmas with big family gatherings…here it’s just us, but our family is still growing so we are content!
    Merry Christmas to you and Jim!

  2. And Dreams are bigger, too. Both the kind we hold dear when we’re awake…and the kind that sneak in when we’re asleep. And together these dreams gently enfold those who’ve been with us during previous Christmases and still reside in our heart memories.
    Lovely post, Joanne.

  3. Good morning Joanne, I read your post yesterday and surprisingly, as I continued through the rest of my day, I was seeing things “bigger” and more beautiful! I, personally, had a bigger day filled with much gratitude for things I sometimes take for granted! I noticed that I had a bigger appreciation of the volunteers who work so hard to make Christmas special for the needy. I noticed sales clerks having bigger patience & tolerance as they serve us at this hectic time of the year! As I continued thru the day, I felt a greater appreciation for the awareness of the big things that I probably would not have noticed in all the hustle bustle. As I read your post about St Nicholis, ( thank you for sharing that) my thoughts went to big, as he gave so much!! Great post as usual Joanne! Your heart is big and your thoughts inspire so many of us. Here’s to big appetites, big dreams, and big hearts!

    1. I love all of your BIG appreciations Cindy! Thank you so much for sharing them. I especially love the appreciation for all the volunteers who give their time and efforts this time of year. That is so special. I hope you have a very BIG holiday this year filled with love and special things. God Bless You! xoxo Joanne

  4. Lovely pictures, as always, but I especially enjoyed your relaxed and appreciative perspective on the season. It’s an exciting time of year, but I find it so much nicer when I don’t try and do (and eat) it all. I find myself reflecting on those no longer with us, except in our hearts, of course. Enjoy the rest of your holiday season and thank you for this lovely post.

    1. I definitely try and keep a perspective on the holiday. I don’t want to get caught up in all the gift giving when I think there is way more to the season. Thank you for stopping by. I love to see your smiling face. xo

  5. Joanne, as always your words really hit home and made soooo much sense in this “crazed Christmas overload” that we’ve all fallen into! Taking time to step back and focus on what this Season really represents (not just the lights, and packages, and cookies, etc….) can give us the the biggest “high” of all! The joy that fills our heart when we realize that our Saviour Jesus Christ is born! The love of family and friends sharing a meal at our table at this festive time of year seems even more heartwarming! Big doesn’t have to come from the merchandised Christmas of late but from the actual reason for the season!! (Love your blogs!)

    1. Hi Kathy! Thank you so much for commenting. You are right, taking the time to step back and focus on the meaning of the season is the biggest high. I love how you said that. And yes, family is so important and the gathering of everyone this time of year just makes it all the more special. xoxo Joanne

  6. The missing of those no longer present seems to get bigger with every passing year, but I take heed of your message to keep my heart in the right place. That is the bigger message to go with Christmas. Blessings to you.

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