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Talking It Over: Prepare for the future

Christmas is coming whether we are ready or not. Now that Thanksgiving is over we are officially in the Christmas season. It doesn‚t really matter if we are ready for it, the days before this blessed holiday are steadily getting fewer.

For me it came up rather quickly. It seems that fall and hunting season are just over (I did not get a deer this year) and I am still packing away all the clothes and other items needed from those weeks. Fortunately we had some beautiful days in November so now, when the cold and snow arrive, we are not quite as surprised or depressed.

My family has been awaiting these days for about nine months now. My son and his wife greeted their twin daughters on Nov. 26, so we will be spending the long Thanksgiving weekend getting to know them. Our arms will be full but not as full as our hearts.

My husband and I are already feeling the effects of three additional grandchildren this Christmas. The lists are just a bit longer, there is a lot more to wrap and, for this year anyway, the travel will be extended. Besides these initial trips for the birth of the twins, we will all be going to the cities for Christmas so no travel is needed for the tiny babies. We may even have to squeeze in an extra trip between just to hold and get to know our new granddaughters.

This is also a busy time at work, school, church and in our social lives. There are many concerts, programs, open houses and holiday parties to attend along with getting the baking, shopping, visiting, wrapping and delivering completed. It can be extremely stressful and also quite depressing for those suffering from illness, loss, or loneliness.

This time of year is often referred to as the Advent Season. A time of waiting and preparing for Christmas. Just like it was years ago, the season of Advent can be compared to awaiting the birth of a child. We know it is coming, make preparations for the arrival and then marvel at the miracle when the time comes.

As we wait for Christmas Day, we can also be making preparations in our personal lives. Taking inventory of where we have been, what we have accomplished and what our hopes are for the future. Perhaps for some, the course has already been set and progress made, but for others some life changes may need to take place in order to achieve our goals. During this Advent season, add one more thing to the Christmas to-do list -- prepare for the future.