Christmas Week and Beyond Survival Guide by Local Author Candice Smith

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As a local resident, bestselling author, and an expert on the Holidays Candice Smith has provided us with the following practical guide to surviving this week and beyond.

Christmas is here! Yes, this week is Christmas week and all the preparations, planning, shopping, cooking, baking, and surprise-keeping is ready to pay off for that one day a year we strive to celebrate unabashedly.

I feel a mixture of elation and immense sadness on this day. I look forward to it all year long, plan for it like stated above, twelve months a year, and still get in a funk when the last gift is opened, the last Christmas plate put away.

With post-Christmas activities, New Year’s Eve to ready, and vacation to enjoy, I shouldn’t let these thoughts invade my mind, but they do.

Candice Article 4 In Old BookLike many, I remember Christmases past when loved ones no longer with us graced our couches and tables. I mourn the childhood I once experienced and realize I’ve been the maker of Christmas longer than I ever looked wide-eyed to the skies.

There is a melancholy-ness to Christmas that is as prominent as the excitement and exaltation. It seems that to have the greatness we must have the sadness to accompany. How can we know the best without suffering the worst? They go hand and hand.

I used to fear this feeling, but now I know it will come. I can expect it and thus prepare in some way for it.

It’s okay to get lost in thought of the past. To remember fondly those that were part of our lives. We need permission to be exhausted after all the real “work” that goes into making Christmas happen every year. We need to be encouraged to cry, to laugh, to feel a bit lost, and then put it all in perspective.

Christmas is a time of celebration. It is a time to marinade in the love of family, living and alive in memories. It’s wonderful and rough, beautiful and ugly, all-giving and a reflection of what’s missing.

Putting pressure on ourselves to stuff these negative feelings down isn’t healthy or necessary. Take them as they come, then ride the wave.

The best thing about Christmas is it arrives every single year. Christmas is a constant. People do heed the call of Charity, Good Will, and Kindness. Families do try to get together, and food and gifts are usually overflowing in homes. And when they are not, good people provide so it can.

Mourning about Christmas is okay for a while, but make sure to give it equal if not more time in a robust and celebratory way.

By celebrating the Birth of a King, the Family, Children, Charity and Kinship you bring light into your home, your life. It is a beacon of love and good will to all.

And, once Christmas 2019 is over, it simply means the countdown to Christmas 2020 begins!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

Candice Smith is a resident of Hopatcong for 17 years, a Board of Education trustee, a former teacher of History and a current paraprofessional running the library at Valley Road School in Stanhope, and an author of three books – Christmas Candi: A Guide to Year-round Holiday Bliss and The Man Behind the Beard – and Drafting the Culinary Circuits publishing in February 2020.


 History of Santa InBook    Gifting Book  




Watch for the Drafting the Culinary Circuits publishing in February 2020

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