The Spirit of the Season

shutterstock_227556634Hang all the mistletoe  
I’m gonna get to know you better 
This Christmas  
And as we trim the tree 
How much fun it’s gonna be together 
This Christmas 

Fireside is blazing bright,  
We’re caroling through the night 
And this Christmas will be  
A very special Christmas for me

– “This Christmas” Donny Hathaway

As I sit in my recliner with my iPad in hand to write this post. I look around at my surroundings. A finely decorated living room courtesy of my bride. A Christmas tree decorated 98% of the way by my children. In fact we have so many ornaments as a family of 7 that we don’t have room on the tree for everyone’s ornaments. To my right is a snowman cup of egg nog that I’ve been slowly enjoying. I look ahead at the television playing a Christian anime classic Superbook’s “The First Christmas” and smile. By far this is my favorite time of the year.

If you recall from a few posts back my family go to a local Christmas tree farm every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The farm gives a hay ride to the fields and we cut down our tree. After we get the tree we stop at Cracker Barrel for a mid afternoon dinner. A perfect day that only ever has a black spot if my Michigan Wolverines lose “The Game”. The next day we decorate it while eating pizza and watching Christmas classics like Rudolph, Frosty and A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Learning the joy of giving to others

I love relaxed Christmas shopping, light snow fall as you walk into the local mall. Hearing the music over the speakers. Excited faces on shoppers who can barely contain themselves in anticipation of giving the gift they bought. Taking my little ones out to shop for each other as they learn the joy of giving to others.

As we have little more than a week left to Christmas (at the time of writing) I look forward to relaxing moments with the family. I still have to watch “A Christmas Story”, “It’s A Wonderful Life”, “Christmas With The Kranks” and my favorite Christmas movie “Die Hard”. ‘Tis the season to be jolly!

New Years as a time of reflection and hope for new adventures

2017 is rapidly approaching whether we want it to or not. New Years is a great time and many cultures hold New Years as the biggest holiday of their year. I’ve never been big into the New Year’s Eve party season. I’ve been to 3 or 4 max. I’ve looked at New Years as a time of reflection and hope for new adventures and opportunities.

With New Years comes the New Years Resolution that in general I don’t know anyone who keeps them. Personally I’ve done my fair share of failing to keep New Years Resolutions. I’ve come to a place in life where I stop waiting for the best time to do things and just start doing them if it’s that important to me. Waiting for the New Year doesn’t make sense except for exercise goals. That is mainly due to the emphasis put on losing weight as a resolution. This trend causes gyms and sporting goods stores to offer sales on equipment and memberships and I recommend taking full advantage of those deals.

Listing out yearly objectives

I’m excited for 2017, I have progressed on goals of mine and will be making a greater effort with my own self control/eating/weight struggle. I start each new year with a time of fasting and prayer. This time is huge for me to focus on hearing and obeying what God has for me to do in contrast to my ideas. Then I list out my yearly objectives and start working on them.

So far I have:

1) Lose at least 20 pounds
2) Save $1000 to my emergency fund
3) Read a new book per quarter (I normally don’t read that slow but if I read at my normal pace I don’t retain it as well requiring another reading).

I hope you’re engaged with your plans for the new year and if you don’t have any, why not?

Until next time!

Merry Christmas!

Matt Williams

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