Christmas 2022 is calling you…so let’s get an early start.
You may have either thought I was insane at the thought of starting early for Christmas 2022 or you are one of those people who actually does start prepping for next December the January prior. Yikes and ya, the latter is not true of me, for sure!
While I am not known to be an early prepper for Christmas, I recently had a deep thought after reading a friend’s Christmas card this year and it made me want to start “prepping”. I put prepping in quotes because the preparation I am writing about is not in relation to buying gifts or decorations for next year, etc. The prepping I was inspired to do was to write my 2022 Christmas letter. That may sound ridiculous, but stay tuned and walk this out with me.
First things first – here is my friend’s note and, just so you know, only the names have been changed to protect the Wonderful.
“This last year has been a wild ride for the Turners! We played the role of ski bums for the first part of the year, taking off most weekends to different ski resorts where we would set up the camper in the parking lot and spend all day on the slopes. We added a couple sports and had a lot of fun this spring with our “Utah Triathlon” – rafting the San Juan River, mountain biking in Moab, and skiing at Alta. Summer rolled around and we both found ourselves in our busy work seasons, with lots of super early mornings and long days. Thankful for the beginning of fall and a slight slow down, Sally traveled to Iceland with two of her girlfriends and Tom spent some time sailing and had the best golf game of his life. We had a huge scare with Tom’s mountain bike accident in September, but he is doing great with his recovery and getting better every day. Thank you all for your love and support. We are very much looking forward to a more mellow 2022. – Tom, Sally, Bruno and Peanut”The Turners 2021 Christmas Card Note
As I read our friend’s short note about their highlights of 2021, I have to admit I was a bit jealous. Their adventures in 2021 instantly made me feel like I sat on my couch with a hook in my butt most of the year. Though that was my initial thought, upon some reflection I realized that my hubby and I had also some great adventures and experiences throughout the past year.
Then, my thoughts went immediately to “what about 2022?” Would we have great adventures in 2022 or would we get to Christmastime and look back thinking “what did we DO all year?” So, of course, my next thought was, “Hey, let’s write our 2022 Christmas card now!”
That may truly sound odd, but it comes down to intentionality. Life moves so quick that if we don’t take time to focus on (and yes write down) our goals, desires, dreams for the new year we could indeed find ourselves looking back in a year thinking, “Bummer, I didn’t do anything I wanted to do this past year”. That’s not a fun place to be as the dark days of winter fall upon us so let’s make an attempt to avoid that pitfall, in advance.
It begins with a simple question: What do you want to do this year? Do you want to go skiing in Austria or ride every major roller coaster in the US? Or perhaps you want to make a career change or dip your toes into art or music? Whatever it is that is in your mind and on your heart to do or experience this year, I can nearly guarantee that it won’t likely get done unless you take a moment to plan for it. Sorry, not sorry, for the honesty.
- What do you want to do this year?
- Ski in Austria?
- Paint a waterfall?
- Ride every US Roller Coaster?
- Learn to play piano?
- Climb Mt Everest?
- Eat Pizza at your favorite place with loved ones?
In your planning/dreaming, I say Go Big or Go Home! Write down those fantastical ideas and dreams of ToDos for 2022 without regard for time, finances, ‘pandemic worries’ etc. This is not a graded test so no need to worry if what you write will come to pass or not. Said another way, don’t lean into lack as you look ahead, but lean into hope and excitement for what could happen this year. Just as the sorta cheesy, but true, saying goes, “Shoot for the moon and even if you miss you’ll land among the stars”, if you aim small, you will likely land small, but if you aim big, the mere excitement over the possibility for “big” can actually fuel you to truly land big.
I guess the best way to express this is to lead by example. To that end, kindly allow me to share my 2022 Christmas letter with you:
Wow, 2022 was an incredible year for the Jensens! To start the year off, Pam decided to make a career change from 8-5 number crunching to being a Professional Encourager. This change resulted in her writing and publishing her first book, starting her wildly successful podcast and encouraging hundreds of people through speaking engagements and Office/Executive Board training sessions.
In April we took our first ever trip to Hawaii and celebrated our 18th Wedding Anniversary by renewing our vows as the sun set over the Pacific Ocean. After that Elisabeth, our Austrian exchange daughter, came back to visit us with her boyfriend in tow. We enjoyed ten days of traveling the Pacific Northwest including camping, sailing and dancing under the stars. During this time we laughed so hard our sides hurt, it was a treasured reunion after so many years apart.
As summer hit we were both hustling every day but were able to find time to host lots of friends and family visiting Oregon and enjoyed showing off our gorgeous state with waterfall hikes, wine tasting trips and stand up paddle boarding on the Columbia River. Early fall found us making a cross country trek to/from South Dakota, just ’cause, and we loved seeing the beauty along the 2,400+ mile round trip drive as well as connecting with Pam’s family in the Midwest.
Greg continued his faithful workouts and even took over teaching a few classes, much to his surprise. He also stepped into his own artsy arena by making smart-alick cards with handmade drawings (Note: they are not for the faint of heart, lol!). Pam continued her running, hitting a new high mark this year by becoming an official “Marathon Maniac”, meaning she (and her faithful running buddy, Heather) completed three marathons in 90 days! So Crazy, but they had a ton of fun both training for and experiencing those three races together.
We did our annual Meteor Shower gazing trip in August and were treated to a spectacular sky show while camping out at Unity Lake. Although we gotta say that sky show paled in comparison to witnessing the Northern Lights when we were on our Lifetime Dream Trip to Iceland in late fall. Truly, that experience was something we have dreamed about for so many years and we are not sure we will ever be able to top that magnificent trip!
Christmas this year finds us chilling at home with our kitties and fish, snuggled in by our pellet stove as we fondly remember our year and plot to walk into 2023 with refreshed fervor and excitement.
We thank you for all your love and support this past year and we look forward to seeing you in 2023. Here’s hoping your 2023 brings all you desire and is filled with more love and laughter than you could ever imagine!
With Big Hugs and Love, Greg, Pam, Reiman, Mar-Vel and Lil’ Fiddy ¢Jensen Household 2022 Christmas Letter
So…..did that letter raise your blood pressure or get you excited about possibility? If I am typing honestly, it did a bit of both for me, ha! 🙂 However, that is exactly my point. It is far too easy to get sucked down into the Social Media scrolling and Video Streaming Rabbit Hole. In that void space, minutes turn into hours and hours quickly turn into days. I am sure I am not the only one on the planet who has ever blown their weekend by snuggling into the couch and enjoying a program – or two – then suddenly found myself up later than planned and dragging into the next day with only enough energy to push the buttons on the remote and start the process all over again, right?
It sounds silly, but if you want to have an incredible year, plan for it! Even if you don’t get to experience everything you desire, you will certainly experience more than you will if you simply float upon the wind hoping fun things will happen. You don’t have to write a Christmas letter, per se, but I encourage you to take a few minutes, let’s say ten total, and imagine what you’d like to do or accomplish this year, then throw some dates on the calendar and start making your dreams a reality.
The last part, perhaps the scariest part, is to share your letter with someone. That makes it more ‘real’ because once shared its ‘out there in the air’ which gives it an energy of its own. Feel free to share your letter with me or even just a short list of your desires for 2023. I am excited to see all your plans on the horizon and even more excited to believe in and for them with you!
I truly hope 2023 is a year filled with unexpected fun filled adventures topped off with more love and laughter than any year prior – because who couldn’t use that?!
Happy Dreaming and Writing!
With Love and Hugs, Pamela