Grown-Up Permission Slip

Remember permission slips? Those dastardly things that would get lost in the bottom of your backpack, only to reappear the night before the big trip, or sometimes the morning of? Your parent or guardian would have to sign off on the signature line that said it was acceptable for you to go on the field trip or overnight experience.

Halloween is at the end of this month, which means the magnetic pull of Christmas is going to start kicking in if it hasn’t already. Most stores have already filled an aisle or two with holiday decorations in a preemptive strike on the Christmas season.

So, in an attempt to preempt the preempt, I would like to give you permission as a parent or guardian: the permission to say, “No.”

You, as the reader of this post, have been given complete and utter freedom to say “no” to craziness, excess and hectic schedules. You have the right to spend quality time with the kids in your household. You have permission to put your family first.

As a minister, I understand the pull of the Christmas season. To be sure, I’ve been feeling it since July. The second VBS is over, I’m already thinking ahead to January. Yes, I may have already created my Christmas playlist on Spotify and listened through it once or twice… We’ve already started rehearsals for the big Christmas drama. I’m already planning on freezing my fingers again playing Christmas carols outside the church building Christmas Eve.

I don’t want to lose the joy of the season. I don’t want Christmas to be a chore for me, nor do I want it to be a chore or burden for you. Again, you have the ability and permission to say “no” to insanity and an overbooked schedule. The centerpiece of the Christmas story is a family huddled around the most important thing. What is the centerpiece of your Christmas season going to be this year?

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