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Opening Our Hearts to the Holiday Season

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“Christmas is for children. But it is for grown-ups too. Even if it is a headache, a chore, and nightmare, it is a period of necessary defrosting of chill and hide-bound hearts.” — Lenora Mattingly Weber

As a couple with no children, lately I feel that Christmas has become more of an obligated duty than a mirthful joyous occasion. With an understanding to visit as many family members as possible, the pressure to make everyone happy weighs heavy. And the fact the military has us thousands of miles from home, getting to those loved ones can be a chore – a chore that has brought about many headaches and some nightmares.

I will admit that this season has had me channeling my inner Scrooge. With my husband gone for the majority of December, and spending the season without my parents for the first time, I have been “Bah Humbuging” every Merry Christmas that has been gleefully sent my way. However, after stumbling across the quote above from American author Lenora Mattingly Weber, I couldn’t help but recognize that no matter how stressful the season may be, it should be a time to open our hearts.

As a military family, spending time with those loved ones back home has been few and far between due to a cross country move. I haven’t seen my husband’s side of the family since our wedding over a year ago. So, this Christmas we are headed to my husband’s home town to spend the joyful season with those that seem to have unfortunately been left behind. I will admit that my stomach has been in knots thinking about not spending Christmas with my family. I have been quite selfish with my thoughts and extremely close minded, which is not what Christmas is about.

I was inspired by Weber’s words and felt the need to put them to good use. Although the stress of the holidays may be getting the better of me – creating more gray hairs than necessary – I want to shed the armor that shields my heart during this season. And while doing so, embrace new beginnings of sharing the holidays with my newly formed family for the first time.

While I open my heart, my hope is that we can all look past the strains created by the season. I encourage you all to open your hearts, pop some Ibuprofen and merely enjoy the time we will spend with family and friends. It could be the warmth needed to close out this past year as we welcome in anew.

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