Monday, September 24, 2012

What Does "A Holiday-Ready Heart" Mean?

It's Warm-Up Week for October's PURSE-onality Challenge: "A Holiday-Ready Heart"!  Here's a handy checklist to make sure you're all ready.

This week's give-away is for The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. (It's a Gregory Family tradition to have Daniel read this aloud to us every Christmas Eve...and for him to choke up at the end!)  3 names will be drawn -- enter via the Rafflecopter at the end of the blog post or click here to enter!

I'm stepping waaaay out of my comfort zone with a vlog today. If you don't have time to watch or listen, no worries: the basic points are here in the blog. (But if you'd like to see me try to fend off Rafiki five separate times or hear my dog scratch at non-existant fleas, by all means, have I got a show for you!)

(If you can't view the video, click here to access "What Do I Mean by 'A Holiday-Ready Heart'?" on YouTube directly.)

I put on my “A Holiday-Ready Heart” bracelet yesterday, and wondered, “What do I even mean by “holiday-ready”?  

Is this just like doing May all over again, trying to be “complaint-free” for a month?

Or is it something more?

Family Road Trip

Then our family of four piled into the car for a trip from which only Daniel and I returned home. Yes, it’s that time of year again: our fourth year of taking Annemarie to college and second for Jonathon. 

It felt good to be a bit of a veteran. No “first time” jitters. No “we want it to be just right” expectations. Just the hope of a safe trip, smooth move-ins, and minimal traffic.

Yet the day had its hitches. 

One family member (who will remain nameless!) took 30 minutes longer than the other three to get ready to leave. 

The driver sped and complained about traffic for the entire three hours. 

My purse Advil bottle was empty, so I had to grin-and-bear the throbbing pain in an injured finger (I accidentally put a sewing machine needle through it on Friday).

A Lot for One Day

While yesterday was not a milestone day, it was still a pretty big day in many ways. In less than ten hours I:
  • made an emergency run to the pharmacy for antibiotics
  • loaded up the car
  • traveled 400+ miles
  • made unplanned stops twice to check tire pressure
  • took a new route due to terrible traffic
  • spent an astonishing amount on textbooks (3x what I’d budgeted!)
  • stopped for food twice
  • said “goodbye” 
  • fretted about the past
  • worried about the future
Yesterday was not a bad day. But after all the “life events” we crammed into a short time-frame, I was worn out by the time we got home. I was glad to take hot shower and head to bed early.

A PURSE-onal Review

Looking at yesterday thru the eyes of the PURSE-onalities: 
  • We had very little time for Sanguine fun. When a bit of hilarity erupted, it was quickly shut down by grumpiness. 
  • From the get-go, the day was a far cry from Melancholy perfection. For at least one family member, the day was ruined by our late departure. 
  • Choleric control was a battle all day. Unexpected traffic, high book prices, and “letting go” issues could neither be predicted nor “fixed.”
  • Phlegmatic peace was hard to come by. It settled in only once the day was done. 

A Lot for the Holidays

For many of us, the November and December holidays are a lot like my yesterday: 
  • travel
  • spending money
  • saying goodbye
  • thinking about the past

On top of these “life events,” we place these HUGE expectations of what the holiday should look like, feel like, be like.

And we leave no room for emergencies.

"A Holiday-Ready Heart"

So what does October’s PURSE-onality Challenge mean to me?  Well, it is more than just being consciously complaint-free (although for me this is an important discipline to re-visit and re-practice!)

But before I tell you what having “A Holiday-Ready Heart” means to me, what does it mean to you?

Your Turn:
  • What does having "A Holiday-Ready Heart" mean to you?
  • What aspect of the holidays do you enjoy most? dread most?
  • Anything else on your heart! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Your children are blessed to have you purchasing their textbooks for them :) Thanks for sharing all your thoughts, and for the opportunity to enter the giveaway.

    1. Crystal --

      As a teacher, I've seen students try to "share" a single textbook with a bunch of friends in order to save money, but then it's never available when needed. So we pay for their textbooks and sell them on at the end of the quarter. (REALLY looking forward to recouping $$$ at the end of this one!)


  2. To have joy in the midst of negative attitudes about money being spent, peace in the midst of chaos in the stores and to just love and bless those I come in contact with on a daily basis. To daily express the true meaning of why we celebrate Christmas with my actions and in my heart.

  3. Amie --

    You paint a beautiful picture with your words! This sounds like a holiday-ready heart for sure!