I have to admit right up front that I stole this idea from someone else's blog. Well, maybe "stole" is a little strong. Let's just say I borrowed the title, but then I guess that blogger did the same thing. "Comfort and Joy" are part of the lyrics in the Christmas carol "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," just in case you didn't know that.
I was thinking about those lyrics and the irony of all the stress we experience at Christmas. It's not bad stress necessarily (although good stress sounds kind of like an oxymoron,) but it does seem like we try to cram too much into the Christmas season. I always want every gift to be perfect, the food to be great and the house to be clean. Two out of three isn't bad, I guess. And then there's the money thing. I suppose we all spend too much at Christmas. It's a bad habit that I don't have much inclination to break.
So, how do we find comfort and joy in the midst of all this stress and spending? I wondered just how many things I could think of that are happy, enjoyable and cost little or nothing. I was truly amazed at all the ideas that my fingers typed out in a relatively short time. Here are a few of them:
1. Quiet snowfalls that blanket the outdoors in glittery whiteness
2. A vigorous tail-wagging and happy-to-see-you "grin" from my dog Angel when I come home from a day at work
3. Jake, my son's cat, jumping into my lap and thereby typing foreign words onto my computer screen
4. My husband sending me a daily greeting on MSN of "Good morning Story Girl!"
5. The aroma of bread baking in the oven wafting through the house on a rainy day
6. All four of my kids home at the same time
7. Checking the mailbox and finding an unexpected note from a friend
8. Making biscuits and gravy - comfort food at its best
9. Chris Tomlin CD playing low in the background while I write
10. Sleeping in my own bed again after a weekend away
11. Wrapping up in a fuzzy blanket on a cold evening
12. Listening to K-State football or basketball on the radio
13. Glowing Christmas lights in a dark room
14. The look on Randon's face when he is proud of something he has made and presents it as a gift to someone special
15. Mexican food for supper
16. Finding a great Free Book for my Kindle
17. First step into a warm house on a cold day
18. Nolan's contagious laughter
19. The early morning aroma of fresh brewed coffee
20. Rachel's smile when she looks at Ty
21. Cold Diet Pepsi
22. Listening to Ty tell a funny story and thinking how much he looks like his Grandpa
23. A scented candle burning
24. Someone enjoying reading something I've written
25. My teddy bears
Ok - that's 25 things off the cuff. You can do it, too! Start naming your "Comforts and Joys" and then go enjoy them. It will put the "Merry" back into your Christmas!