Stress is from me, not them

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The night before the girls left to go to their dad’s for Christmas, the middle one – 9 – was giving a good argument about how Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer was real.

“He is, I say,” she said. “How else could Santa see in the fog?”

“You are absolutely right,” I said, and with that simple sentence, her belief in the Christmas holiday was cemented for another year.

The following morning, and for the second year in a row, the youngest – 7 – left her note for Santa. Last year, her biggest Christmas wish was a riding toy, and St. Nick delivered. A purple electric scooter with a signed note from the big guy himself waited under the Christmas tree when she awoke.

This year, she decided to head him off at the pass, and let him know that even though her Santa letter* said all she wanted for Christmas was a drum set, she would be OK if she didn’t get anything because he gave out world peace instead. There was even a signature line for him.

And I thought that was the sweetest thing.

We worry so much in the weeks leading up to Christmas about putting things under the tree. And I’ll confess. I fell into that trap. I stressed myself out so much about marking things off my shopping list and worrying about how I was going to accomplish everything before the big day. It was so bad that I nearly made myself sick with worry.

I didn’t realize what I was doing to myself until I saw Dianna-Grace’s signed letter from Santa, still on the refrigerator from last year.

She’d written in giant letters, “I LUV YU SaNTA.”

That’s when I realized what I was doing to myself. The reason behind the season is the amount of love we have in our hearts. The number of presents under the tree doesn’t matter if you’re surrounded by the people who love you – which we would be (and since you’re reading this on Wednesday, we were).

I knew that I had to put all that worry aside because I was the only person standing between a wonderful holiday or a week of worry and woe.

That’s sound advice no matter what the season is.

The power of Christmas isn’t reserved for one single day, because we are the ones who have the power to decide that today’s going to be a great day.

By the way, Santa brought Dianna-Grace a drum set in the event the world peace thing doesn’t pan out.


* The annual “Letters to Santa” edition printed Sat., Dec. 22, and extra copies are available at The Star-News office.