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The Reason for the Season

SALT LAKE CITY -- As we immerse ourselves in another busy December with all of the demands of the holidays, I invite all of us--at some point before we get too busy, over-committed, or stressed--to slow things down long enough and ask, "What is the point of it all? Why all the rushing around with the purchasing of gifts, the consuming of delicious (and often unhealthy) foods and the attending of various parties and celebrations?"

For many of us, we'd like to think of this holiday time as the Christmas season, where we put our primary focus on the birth of Jesus Christ and celebrate the coming of a great Savior into the world and into our lives. Others among us from other faith traditions may desire to make this a time to enjoy other religious or cultural holidays. And whatever our personal preference in the realm of holiday festivities, virtually all of us would like to use this as a special time to draw closer to family and friends.

May I suggest this December that we follow the advice of a well-known self-help guru, Steven Covey, and "begin with the end in mind?" Focus on those things that build faith and foster important relationships, and leave the rest behind. Don't be afraid, with our overwhelming pace of life, to minimize and simplify; less can truly be more. Dump the needless overspending, over-pacing and overstressing. Remember your own "reason for the season" and take those important steps to make it happen.