This is the ironic feeling that happens in many of us as soon as the radio stations start playing Christmas songs non-stop. Rather than that giddy, most wonderful time of the year feeling, a vague pre-holiday fatigue sets in, with both the weight of expectation and memory of disappointment that feels so familiar you could almost sing it. This is not a humbug thing, most of us actually long for the light, connection and giving that the holidays are supposed to offer. But often the experience is so diluted by the endless to-do lists, the expenses, and the guilty feelings that we should somehow be happier about it. We aren’t just tired about the holidays; we are tired because of all the work and weight of getting to these holidays which we celebrate at the darkest days of the year.

I am burnt out on giving. There I said it, even though I feel like I should quick back-space it out of there before anyone reads it. I am burnt out and simultaneously feel like I should be giving more to more really needy people. I suppose some would call this burn out normal- what with a husband, four kids, two cats, a dog, employees, creditors etc. It isn’t that surprising that I feel like I have little left to give. But this is not the place that I want to live in, and certainly not when I should be singing Christmas songs. But alas, here I am.

I recently read a moving account of the story of a woman who reconciled with her ex-husband after she was diagnosed with cancer. The husband so wanted his wife to believe he is in love with her still, actually falls in love with her again, as he recognizes each small act of kindness as possibly his last one with her. The realization that the highest order of human existence is to love others as though we are all dying all the time. In these moments when we truly feel the gift of each moment, the brevity of holding a small child’s hand as they grow up before your eyes, the steady breathing or even snoring of the man you love, even the daily demands that so easily can turn to burn out have this other-worldly feeling – and we stop and feel grateful.

So this time of year, take each day and live it like it is the last holiday you will have to love someone. Do it with all your heart and watch how the world changes from the inside out. This is where the real giving comes from. Stay tuned, we are happy to announce the new, better, more beautiful Good Clean Love website coming alive in early December. Use the coupon code gclnf07 to take 10% off some incredible, not to be forgotten holiday gifts that keep giving.