Last week Dad, on the eve of his departure for the Dominican Republic, wrote a lovely post about creating new memories. In it, he offered this wonderfully challenging paragraph:

I want the memories I am creating now to be about laughter, new things, compassion, happiness for others in their successes, and enjoying being with the ones I love. I want to be done with past grievances, insignificant arguments and trivial differences.

As the Christmas season approaches, I echo Dad’s wish.

This Christmas I want to: create memories that ring with laughter, enjoy new things, be compassionate, rejoice in other’s victories, and enjoy those with whom I will be spending my time. And the past, with its pettiness… I just want to be done with it. Crumple up all those little negative, nagging feelings and throw them into the trash. Done.

New day, new season, new memories, all fresh and waiting to be shared.

But wanting and doing are two very different things. So, how to move from want to reality?

Here’s my advice. Make a plan and then be flexible.

Nothing kills joy more quickly than distress over things not going according to plan. Stuff happens. Things come up.

This Christmas season I will plan some good food, games, skating, visiting, resting, shopping, wrapping, music, sharing of our blessings, pranks, and a little alone time. Some of the planned things will happen. Some won’t.

So in addition to planning the fun, I will plan for those inevitable hiccups. Knowing and accepting that they will happen makes them less stressful when they do.

My prayer, then, this Christmas season is that the important things will remain the important things.

Might this be your prayer, too?