12 Days: Aeriel Mills

I often get caught up in my to-do lists attached to the Christmas season. In fact, I just finished my 30+ person list of Christmas gifts I need to buy and wrap. I’m only about halfway done which is actually progress, considering I usually wait until the week of Christmas to do all of my shopping.

Both of my parents are remarried so I have a schedule of all the houses I need to stop by, adding to the stress of what is supposed to be the happiest season of all, right?

In the past, I have been caught up in the hustle and bustle of everything I need to do and everywhere I need to go that I forget to enjoy time spent with my family or reflect on the true reason for Christmas. This year, I am determined to break off the bitterness and craziness that usually comes this time of year, and instead, be present – wherever I am or whoever I am with, be present.Lucy

On Friday, my Connect Group is having a mini Christmas party. There will be lots of laughter and an intense gift exchange where true competitive characters will come out, and I will be present. This weekend, I will be decorating sugar cookies with my mom and shamelessly singing Christmas songs, and I will be present. At the annual family Christmas talent show, I will laugh at the utter ridiculousness of my crazy family but also reflect on how grateful I am to have the one I do, and I will be present. On Christmas day, I will wake up with my new kitten, Lucy, and I will spend my morning sitting in my chair with a cup of coffee, taking time to admire the Christmas tree lights and rejoice in the fact that a Savior was born and changed everything. I will choose a heart of gratitude, and I will be present.

To me, being present means living in the moment, not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. It readies my heart to be grateful for what I have right now and allows me to truly enjoy the people that I am with.

I hope that you, too, will find the joy and peace that comes in being present during this Christmas season.

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