The Holidays: More Than Conquerors

 

We don’t know about y’all, but we have been Pintresting and pumpkin spice-ing the heck out of this fall weather! We’ve got the boots back out, more flannels than Urban Outfitters, and twenty five portrait mode shots of trees the color of Starburst wrappers. But just as the left over Halloween candy taunts us with its menacing, GMO chocolaty goodness, so too does a glimpse of the calendar savagely rob us of much autumn joy.

Two weeks til Thanksgiving? Seven til Christmas?? Sheer panic.

 Every year we promise ourselves and our advent calendars that we’re going to do less. Spend less. Stress less. But do we? Why have the holidays so derailed from their joy-teemed, rest-filled inception into a soul-sucking marathon whose greatest solace seems to come via Eggnog or Xanax?

Maybe that’s a bit extreme, but should the holidays really feel like a battle we have to conquer, or should we vow this year, to hold ourselves responsible for what it’s truly meant to be? A bright bing cherry, the final delicious topping on yet another year, no matter how sweet or sour the year itself.

For those with new babies, new homes, or a big promotion, that doesn’t sound too much to ask, right? Don’t sweat the small stuff when the big stuff has done you so well. When we’ve been so #blessed. But what of those whose holiday looks emptier, with a little less on the table and much dimmer twinkle lights than years past? To those, I say raise a glass even higher! Sing the carols a little louder and be proud that you can still sing at all, even if piercingly off key. Find peace and hope in the tiniest of treasures and the smallest nutcrackers, because you have not cracked. And because you’re far more beautiful than silver bells and a thousand mantles laced with garland. Because even if your heart is too fragile to love, you can rest knowing that someone always loves you. 

Surviving the holidays. Thanksgiving. Christmas. More than conquerors. Romans 8:37.

A promise we’ve always clung to in seasons of haste – both in crazy success and wearying struggle – is that we are more than conquerors. God even tells us so, yet we overcommit, over consume, under value the gift of peace this season is longing to pour over us. How much more joy would we find for ourselves (and gosh, share with others!) not having to find every gift, send every card, or make every party? The sheer idea of having to “get through the holidays,” of having to conquer them, is thieving the season of its very soul. Not to mention, all the fun!

Don’t get me wrong, we’re all about #winning. We’re strong women, and we adore a perfected sweet potato soufflé. But as we roll into the upcoming months, we plead to remind all our SHE’S that winning this time of year, doesn’t mean getting it all done or doing it all right. I’m convinced inside of her ostentatiously flawless light display, Martha May Whovier felt more emptiness than Christmas cheer. The way to win this holiday season, to really leave 2018 with an exclamation point rather than an exhausted “…”, is not to attempt to conquer it once again, but to abide in all we have conquered already. The triumphs and celebrations right along with the setbacks and the tears. Because through all of it, we not only conquered, we grew. We have built muscles and faith and new parts of our story we didn’t anticipate.

And from what we can tell, whether you forget to send your son’s teacher a $50 Target gift card or char your family’s turkey Griswold style, it won’t be the end of your story or the demise of your family. So let’s not sweat the holidays this year, let’s settle in, sip champagne, and just sing them on through.




NaSHEville Holiday Picks

Favorite Thanksgiving side – stuffing, or “dressing,” if you’re a true southerner

Favorite Christmas Tune – Judy Garland’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”

Cozy scarf or festive socks? – socks

Hot chocolate or spiced cider? – hot chocolate

Reindeer spirit animal – Prancer, because we would bring shame to the Dancer name

Turkey or honey ham? – sweet honey ham all day!

Matching PJ’s or tacky sweater? – the tackiest sweater