Every so often we hear a phrase we hold on to because it resonates with us. We come across a pearl of wisdom that is profound. If we live it, practice it and share it, in some cases it can become a philosophy for life.
Advent and the busy Christmas season were the beginning of enlightenment for me. My husband and I have two adult sons. A decade or so ago we were in the middle of the busy years. Between school, sports and church we were the typical overscheduled family. Then along came the holidays. Every class, team and club had a Christmas party to calendar. Multiply those commitments by two children. On top of that there the obligatory holiday events my husband and I had to attend as part of our work life. Add to all of this the usual seasonal tasks: trim the tree, bake cookies, shop for gifts, etc., etc., and the season became a blur of activities.
Then one Sunday, possibly the Sunday before Advent began, I heard words from the pulpit that changed everything. Fr. Dave Gruver, was preaching at Santiago de Compostela in Lake Forest (he’s now at St. Hedwig in Los Alamitos). He was a favorite of our family. His homilies always spoke to us. And on this Sunday, his message hit home. He warned the congregation that, especially at the holidays, we overbook, overplan and overcommit. And in doing so, we miss it. We miss the joy of the Christmas season. His solution was succinct.
“Do less, better,” Fr. Dave said.
Even his message was simple. In three words he summed up a philosophy of life I now strive to adhere to. I’ve simplified my personal schedule. I’ve changed my career course in order to be able to follow this philosophy. I work hard to take a minimalist approach to everything from my home to my cooking to my commitments.
And you know what has resulted? I feel more. I see more. I pray more. It seems I have more.
Do less, better. Commit to it this Christmas season and see if the joy that results multiplies for you, too.