Please Stop!
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

This is one of the busiest times of the year. With Thanksgiving falling so early this year, we actually had an extra week between Christmas and Thanksgiving. When I realized this, I was so excited. An extra week to immerse myself in the wonder of the holiday season. All of a sudden, Hanukkah has already started, and we are less than two weeks away from Christmas. Before we know it, we will be putting the decorations away and January 2024 will be in full swing.

So please stop. Stop and enjoy this special time of year. The days are shorter so we can’t work on any projects outside. The grass is now dormant until spring so there’s no need to cut it. How about we take that extra time and reflect on the blessings of the season. As I write this post, it is exactly two weeks until Christmas. My wife and I just returned home from visiting family in Ohio where we had the privilege of touring an estate filled with lights, trees, and a greenhouse decorated for the holidays. We were blessed to watch a few of our grandchildren participate in their church’s Christmas Program.

During my reflection time this morning, I committed to taking a picture of something special each day until the end of the month. This is my attempt to slow down and STOP (at least for a moment) and enjoy this most special time of year. I also have a few events scheduled so the times are reserved on my calendar. This Saturday, December 16, my wife and I, along with some dear friends, will be attending Symphoria’s Home for the Holidays, Pops concert. This is an annual event for us that is simply amazing. What a treasure to have such a wonderful orchestra in our community. On Sunday, December 17, our local church has its children’s Christmas program, and on Saturday, December 23, we go Christmas Caroling. Add into these scheduled events some special family dinners, and a few of our favorite movie classics such as A Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life and you have an amazing two weeks. (For the record, I already watched White Christmas with my daughter’s family.)

How about you? How will you become intentional about stopping and enjoying this holiday season? Let me know if you have any suggestions for making this time of year even more special.