By Jami Gibson

All is calm. These lyrics from my favorite Christmas song have been resonating in my head for several weeks now. This time of year, it’s easy to get caught up in the holiday commotion, planning get-togethers, decorating the house, buying and wrapping gifts, and coordinating travel arrangements. However, this year I’m determined to not let these little things get the best of me.

My husband and I spent the Thanksgiving holiday with his extended family of 40+ people. It was a 12-hour car ride to our destination in North Carolina, and to say I wasn’t excited about going was an understatement. I had a feeling of dread the week leading up to our departure. I had to keep reminding myself that ‘all is calm,’ and to focus on what truly matters, not the chaos, obligations, and stress on the periphery. All the worry was for nothing as we had one of the most memorable holidays surrounded by family who joined us from Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Kansas City to carry on a tradition that had been started in 1970!

Now that Thanksgiving is done and Christmas, New Year’s, and other holidays are upon us, I intend to keep my “mantra” close to my heart and mind in order to delight in this peaceful season and spread joy. I challenge you to do the same – make this a season of togetherness, hope, and thanksgiving.