Taking baby steps this Christmas

Karen Wils photo Watching a winter U.P. sunrise or sunset can be peaceful enough to put you into a Christmas mood.

ESCANABA — Take a deep breath!

Start out small, one little baby step at a time.

Christmas is awesome and can be overwhelming. Take it slowly. Savor each moment of the Advent season.

Baby steps are the best way to approach Christmas. Take your time and prioritize the important things of the week. This is supposed to be a joyful season, but sometimes the business of our modern world gets in the way.

STEP 1 – Turn off all of the lights, screens and devices for a few minutes. In a quiet room enjoy a tiny candle or switch on a tea light. December darkness is a gift full of comfort, welcoming home fires and contentment.

STEP 2 – Bring in the green. The U.P. has blessed us with aromatic pines and fragrant firs and cedars. A small swag of balsam, a piney centerpiece or a wreath for the door are good ways to get the Advent season started. If you do a Christmas tree, do it later when you have lots of help.

STEP 3 – Set good goals for each day. Do one job like, send out Christmas cards, bake a batch of cookies or shop for gifts for the family, then do one good thing for someone else. Babysit for a busy mom, visit someone who can’t get out often or help with holiday baskets are good ideas that are sure to put you in the Christmas mood.

STEP 4 – Bring down the boxes of Christmas decorations slowly, one at a time. Put up one Santa knick-knack, silver bell or ornament and reminisce with family about those old precious objects that were grandma’s or the ones that great-grandpa made.

STEP 5 – Get outside. You may need to bundle up, but you can actually smell “Christmas” in the fresh air. Watch the peacefulness of a winter U.P sunrise or set.

STEP 6 – Make time for people. Christmas programs and Christmas concerts may seem like a lot of running, but music stirs memories and that is what Christmas is all about. Start out with the least important people in your everyday life and share some time or a smile.

STEP 7 – Make time for yourself. Remember, if you get too tired and worn down with all of the pre-holiday stuff, you are no help for others. At the end of each December day, take just a few moments to relax with your family or sit in your favorite rocking chair with the cat.

The countdown to Christmas has certainly started, but it is not a race. You don’t have to have the biggest Christmas tree or the most lights or the finest presents — it’s the little things that make this season special.

So, be organized and be smart; take it one step at a time. Christmas will come to you!

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Karen (Rose) Wils is a lifelong north Escanaba resident. Her folksy columns appear weekly in Lifestyles.

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