What to do When Christmas Goes Up In Smoke!
I love Christmas! It is one of my favorite times of year. Even when the event has a major hurdle thrown into your path. When I reflect on the last few weeks, I suppose I should be careful what I write about around the holiday season. This past week I wrote a few articles about living on a divergent path. How you should deal with stress and worry in your life. What you need to do when expectations about life or even Christmas do not turn out as planned.
In the midst of writing these articles we had a fire erupt in our house. While everyone was safe, which is the most important part, there was extensive smoke and soot damage. The main source of the fire was near our Christmas tree. Which meant all of our decorations in the room were ruined and we were going to have to spend Christmas, and the next few months, in a strange house. Without all of our normal Christmas traditions.
This reality, by even our lowest expectations, was not how we expected to spend, or celebrate, Christmas. But it was the reality we found ourselves living. So, what do you do when your life truly does take a massive divergent turn, upending even your most basic expectations?
The first aspect of this reality is to be realistic. There was very little we could have done about the fire or the aftermath. We never could have imagined a small fire would displace us over the next several months. But this was our reality.
Our plans, our expectations, and thoughts need to be realistic. Realistic around how we would spend Christmas, if we could even scrap together a Christmas by the 25th, or we would be celebrating sometime in the future. Any grand ideas about how to spend this holiday season were completely thrown out the window and that is alright. We simply need to have realistic expectations around what the next few weeks will look like for us.
At a time of celebrating all the good Christmas cheer, it is easy to forget why we even celebrate the season. For us, we all were safe, and none the worse for wear. That is certainly something to celebrate. Even though there were many long phone calls with insurance, the fire investigator, the adjustor, and the restoration service. Trying to face to live short term until we could find a long-term rental until our house is completed. These are all minor inconveniences in the grand scheme of living a thriving life despite our own circumstances.
There are few words which can describe watching many of your household goods being hauled off in garbage bags. There is still nothing compared to being together, safe, and in control of our own happiness during this season. Despite our charred mess, we are still truly grateful of the life we get to live. And the fact we will get to celebrate Christmas, even though it may not look like we had planned.
While it could be easy to think about what you are missing while living out of a suitcase for an unknown amount of time. There is importance in remaining focused. During a season filled with excess and what we can consume, remembering what is important can provide much needed perspective.
The reality is we are all safe, we have our health, we have jobs, and we get to be together. Does anything else really matter? Is there truly another gift except what Christ gave us during Christmas which could truly transform our lives? This is a great opportunity to remain focused on the reason for the season and what is truly important in our lives.
Having fun might be the last thing you think about when unexpected expectations are placed directly in your path. But why not? I can’t think of a better time to have fun than when you have no idea what is ahead of you.
I have to give our children credit for their resiliency. Through the process they remain excited about living in another place or another part of town. We still talk, laugh, and play games. Go to movies and out to eat. Seeing their parents all tied in knots does no good to theirs, or our, well-being. If you can remember what is important in life, then it is much easier to have the much need fun, during the more stressful times in life.
Whatever your circumstances are this holiday season, I hope you can look at them with a new light. To focus in on what is important and not what you might be missing. Whether you thrive in life, or during Christmas, has little to do with your circumstances and everything to do with your attitude.
God Bless, have a Merry Christmas, and Thrive On!
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