Sarah Stultz: Let the spirit of the season touch your heart

Published 7:56 pm Monday, December 2, 2019

Nose for News by Sarah Stultz


Let’s be clear. I’m the type of person who is usually still scrambling the week of Christmas to finish the last of my shopping for friends and family and to bake the last of the holiday treats to give away.

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So when I see photos of people who have their shopping done, their presents wrapped, their Christmas cards mailed and their cookies made, I get a little envious.

I saw a photo a few days ago of a friend of mine who had just finished mailing out 400 Christmas postcards from her family. Do I even have 400 close friends and family members I would send cards to? I’d be doing good if I got 25 mailed out — but 400?

I must admit, I love getting Christmas cards, but over the years, that is one of the tasks leading up to the holidays that fell by the wayside for me.

I’m not sure what it is this year, but I feel like my holiday preparations are even more behind schedule than normal. I only have about two more weeks until the packages need to be mailed out for family in other states, and other than only a couple gifts I purchased this past weekend, I haven’t even begun to think of what I will get for most family members.

I felt pretty good that on a whim after work on Friday, we decided to get out the Christmas decorations and we decorated our 6-foot-tall artificial tree. 

It’s funny how some years, all the decorations in the Christmas boxes get pulled out and incorporated somehow into our house, but other years, like this year, only about a quarter of it is out — and I’m OK with that.

It’s not that I’m a grinch or I dislike Christmas. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. The Christmas season is one of my favorite times of year. But this year, amidst all the stress of work, the weather and health problems with family members, there’s something beautiful about lessening the chaos that often accompanies the weeks leading up to Christmas and instead keeping it simple.

I’m enjoying the simplicity, and I hope that through it, I can better enjoy the feeling of giving and peace that comes this time of year.

Have too much going on at this time of year? Try scaling back. Let the spirit of the season touch your heart.

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Tuesday.