It Is That Time Again

The month of December is welcomed for many reasons. For starts, it marks the end of the hurricane season and the beginning of the festive season. Children and other relatives return home as well as visit. Additionally, there are numerous Christmas programs and
parties to keep one going almost every day.
Then there are exchange of gifts and untold dinners and social events. How do we relate to all of the above and maintain control and balance in December? Accordingly, I share a few suggestions that may prove beneficial.

Welcome the Season

Generally, we work hard all year. Coming to the close of the year allows for additionally time off for personal rest, relaxation, becoming reacquainted with family and friends and even making new friends. It provides for some much-needed time to do additional cleaning and sorting out at home. In fact, doing so helps one to see what he has or does not have. Also, the various plays, programs and get togethers lend to fellowship, laughter and fun. Even the stress level seems to lower during this season.

Manage the Season
While all of the above can be wonderful and exciting, there is need to manage well one's time, finances and activities during the holiday season. Plan where you will attend. In other words, do not accept every invitation. Some may infringe upon your standards and principles. At some parties not planned and controlled by Christian principles, reason may be discarded, leading to indulgence in that which may embarrass and produce guilt.
Also, avoid the temptation to purchase by impulse. We must be mindful that all the ads, music, and appeals are designed to reach our pocket books and purses. By encouraging us to buy now and pay later, the merchants extract funds from us that we might not have. And “trust me later” comes soon, sometimes within 30 days. With pre-planning one can determine what gifts one will purchase and what one can afford. This will always place one in control and not being controlled.
With food everywhere and in abundance, it is hard to avoid the extra pounds; but we need to give attention to what and when we eat and the amount. After all, there are still health issues that we face. We may wish to ensure that we plan carefully our eating habits and stick to our exercise regiment.

Define the Season
It is so important to ask relevant questions, if one would avoid some of the above pitfalls. What is the reason for the season? What is my motive for giving? Do my child/children need all the gifts I have in mind to purchase? Have I included a needy person who may not otherwise receive a gift? Do I really need the item? How can I volunteer some of my time? Have I considered my church for a gift? Have I been faithful to God during the year? Defining the reason for the season should enable me to dispense with self-gratification and focus on helping. Thereby, when the season has ended, my joy does not end but keeps on going because of my having prioritized my priorities. Therefore, January is welcomed, and I am not "broke." Remember, he "who fails to plan plans to fail."