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(LifeSiteNews) — My dad was a cop and had little tolerance for speedy drivers. When my siblings and I started driving, we were constantly reminded to obey the speed limit for our own safety and other drivers around us. I clearly remember my dad yelling ‘SLOW DOWN’ every time I headed out the door to my car. Of course, I would roll my eyes and begrudgingly reply ‘okaaaayy!”

My dad has since passed away and it seems like his memorable quotes that me and my family cherish have more meaning to them.  I love reflecting on the wisdom that my dad passed down without him even knowing it.

As I reflect on his constant reminder to slow down while driving, I can’t help but think that this lesson can apply to all parts of my life, especially as Christmas draws closer.

I wish I could say that I can separate myself from the modern Christmas world. I’m always reminding myself to be in the world but not of it, but I’m caught up in the Christmas craziness as much as the rest of them. I have so much to do! Presents to get everyone, cookies to bake, and a house to clean. The days just seem to be flying by with how busy I am, and I haven’t been enjoying any of it.

But the other day as I was setting up my Christmas tree with my family, I realized the more I slowed down, the more I enjoyed all of those festive things on my holiday to-do list because I took the time to soak in their joys while doing them.

It’s not the end of the world if I don’t have all of the cookies made on time. I can make time for making them after Christmas day and let the celebration continue. It’s OK to pace myself and not have to do everything at once.

It is a very hard thing to do, especially since it feels like everyone around me has been celebrating Christmas since the day after Halloween. They’re so eager to jump into the next thing and It’s so easy to get caught up in any stress that the holidays bring. But I think everything is better enjoyed if I take the time to enjoy it and let any stress of the holiday melt away.

In 2 Peter 3:9, St. Peter tells us to slow down: “Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”

This is a great reminder to be patient and let the celebration of our Lord’s birth be something that we feel at peace about and not just another thing to rush through. It feels that all of the hustle and bustle is taking away from any sense of the true meaning of Christmas. In order to take part in the celebration, it is best to be truly present and to focus on the precious moments of Christmas that make it so wonderful.

With Christmas right around the corner, I still have so many things to do, but I can almost hear my dad’s voice telling me to slow down and enjoy the preparation for the Christmas season. Letting go of the things that make me feel rushed might better prepare my heart for the birth of Jesus and be able to focus on the things that we would have missed if we were going too fast.