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Michiana Chronicles writers bring portraits of our life and times to the 88.1 WVPE airwaves every Friday at 7:45 am during Morning Edition and over the noon hour at 12:30 pm during Here and Now. Michiana Chronicles was first broadcast in October 2001. Contact the writers through their individual e-mails and thanks for listening!

Seasonal Truth

Now that Christmas is over, I’m thinking of some seasonal truths I want to take with me into the new year.  There are (of course) some standard old saws about over-indulgence, and children liking the boxes presents came in as much as the gifts, and how to keep Christmas all year long in your heart. I’m not there this year, friends!  After feeling smug about our healthy family for the past years, kindergarten hit and it has been plague after plague of infectious ills.  We have been too busy with too much fun and I’m tired.  Although I have enjoyed Christmas mightily, the following seasonal truths will carry me through the process of un-Christmasing our home this year.

  1. If I didn’t get a Christmas card out by Christmas Day, I should stop telling myself I’ll do a New Year’s card instead.  Not happening.  Only one person I know sends out a New Year’s card and I am lucky enough just to receive it.
  2. If an ornament or other holiday doodah is “kinda” broken, I should do it the honor of properly disposing of it.  Every time I see it I’m sad it is experiencing demise, feel guilty I didn’t wrap it in bubble wrap all these years, and think up ways to repair or salvage it next year that I will never follow through with.  I need to put us both out of our misery and chuck it. Ditto “kinda” working light strings.  Chuck ‘em!
  3. I am training my kids to be either consumers or stewards of the world around them.  If I would rather they become stewards, I should engage and involve them in the “one in one out” policy for new toys.  For each item they unwrapped for Christmas, they should find another like item to donate.  I’ll make it easy and get them a box to fill up.
  4. Volunteering fills my heart up any time of year, but it is easiest to do it at Christmas time.  Why is that?  If I want to experience the immediate education that serving others brings me, I need to plan to do that monthly instead of just during the holidays.  Everyone benefits from serving anyone in a volunteer capacity.  The quickest way to appreciate my little house and life is not to improve upon it, but to improve someone else’s life, even just a little tiny bit.
  5. Holiday Hangovers Happen.  Too much joy, too much food, too many parties and celebratory moments leave most of us feeling a little blue.  Sure, we’ve got New Year’s, but if you have little bitty kids, well you don’t really have New Year’s anymore, do you?  To help with my holiday hangover, I think I will make a plan to fully engage with the world this next year.  I’ll exercise more….every day!  I’ll eat less junk and more fruits and veggies…I’ll cuss less.  I’ll follow #4 and volunteer monthly (…what?...oh… I guess these do sound like New Year's Resolutions. Umm….)

New Year's resolutions serve a purpose but are rarely followed to the satisfaction of the individual.  We like newness and we like the idea of change.  In making New Year’s resolutions we solve number five, the Holiday Hangover, if we plan to be better people this next year by number four: volunteering!  We find ways to express our desire to (number three) be better people, better stewards of our lives and families, we vow to be more proactive, say by (number two) chucking those bloody Christmas string lights that barely work and we plan to (number one) simplify our lives by removing the clutter of things that no longer delight or better us as people!
Maybe all I need to do after Christmas is start my New Year's resolutions! Maybe then I won’t feel such a longing for more Christmas carols, some actual snow, and one more present I wanted but didn’t get.  Maybe these seasonal truths should be set aside until next year.  I’m going to go work on my New Year’s resolutions.  After I pack up a few more decorations…I can probably repair this one next year.  *yawn* Or maybe…just a post Christmas nap?

Heather Novak's professional history includes sales and customer service training and troubleshooting for businesses, but she loves motivational speaking best. Heather leads church events for youth, singles and women, has spoken for Chicago Apartment Association and many organizations throughout Indiana. Nowadays Heather is just another stay at home wild mama trying to loose some weight, keep some sanity and enjoy her life. She is being raised by two little girls named Portia and Libby and is indulged by a guy named John who was gracious enough to marry her. Heather blogs about F Words: Feisty Faith, Fumbling Family, Fairly Healthy Food, Failed Fashion and Fabulous Friendships. You can find her at
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