This happens to me every year - I make a long to do list to cover everything under Creation I want to accomplish for the Christmas season and in the very act of making it or reviewing it I add more things to it. In fact, even in the process of crossing something off the list because I accomplished it, I will think of seven new things to add. The list never shrinks, only grows.
As Christmas nears closer and closer, the list is longer and longer and all I find myself wanting is for the whole season to be over and done with so I can toss that stupid list and get back to reality.
I, for one, would enjoy the Christmas season a whole awful lot more if I would just learn to jettison that list a whole lot earlier than I do. So what if I can't deliver a plate of twenty different home-baked cookie varieties to all 127 families in my neighborhood. They'll survive - and their waistlines will thank me. And so I forgot to get something for half a dozen friends of friends and teachers of my children from a decade and a half ago. They're too busy to notice and my pocketbook will thank me. At some point, when the list gets in the way of appreciating the wonder of the season, it's time to toss the list. The word "jettison" derives from Old English and denotes the throwing of goods overboard to lighten a ship in distress. This word made me think of something I heard from Dieter Uchtdorf who said that an acceptable sacrifice is when we give up something good for something of far greater worth. The things on the list are all good but it will be of far greater worth to you and anyone who has to live under the same roof with you, if you give up some of those "good" things on the list for something better - time to reflect on the real meaning of the season. My mom just told me a poignant story she heard of a harried lady shopping with her son in a mall a few days before Christmas. Frustrated by the crowds and the hassle of it all she exclaimed, "Whoever came up with this stupid holiday should be strung up and shot." Her son quietly replied, "Well, mom, I think they crucified Him instead." It's now the 23rd of December and if someone asks you if you're ready for Christmas and all you can think to retort back is "Yeah, ready for it to be over", then it's time to jettison the list. Kick back, have some cocoa, with any luck watch some snow quietly falling out your window, drink in the fragrance of your dying Christmas tree, and just let the season and the Man behind it all wrap you in peace for a day and a half. Merry Christmas!