Something I'm not used to doing is planning ahead for the holidays. I usually start late and this year was no different. Our family even took a 3-week vacation returning on December 5! Back at home, some of my friends were already done wrapping presents and mailing cards...I hadn't started my shopping. I was stressed. But, unlike most years, I went to a holiday brunch and the guest speaker there talked about something that actually struck a chord with me - setting intentions for the season. Now, I'm all about setting intentions for other events in my life. But I'd never done it for Christmas before. Arguably one of the happiest times of the year, the holidays are also very lonely, hectic and hard. People don't openly talk about these aspects, but without fail they creep up and in. Rushing around trying to get it all done, we may find the "perfect" gift for someone but if it's not derived of and delivered with love, something's lost. It misses. And we feel empty somehow too. I don't want that to happen this year. So I've set the intention to not let the stress get to me. Not let it make me short with my kids and husband. Not lose my much-needed sleep. And not drive myself crazy which only I can really do to myself. The presents and cards will be fine. It's the feelings that matter more. And guess what? It's working. Now this kind of planning ahead I can get used to!