A Christmas Reminder

28 November 2011

The holidays are in full swing! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and were able to spend time with family and friends remembering the blessings, trials, and joys over the last year. Thank you to all of my friends and readers for your encouragement, proof reads, feedback, and ideas over the last month. In my attempt to keep God and my family first, I did not post during Thanksgiving weekend, but plan to post until December 23rd.

Like many people, I begin to stress out around Christmas. Though we have many Christ centered traditions, we still can get distracted from what is important by the commercialism all around us. I enjoy giving gifts, but also like for them to have meaning, and doing this on a budget can be overwhelming.

Friday morning I woke up, jumped online to check out sales, and immediately got caught up in the holiday shopping frenzy. My husband quickly became my (unappreciated at the time) voice of reason, and reminded me of our intention to follow through with our idea to support the Advent Conspiracy this year.

Pinterest has been an inspiration over the last few months, and has made making gifts so much easier and more fun! This year my family and I spent the weekend after Thanksgiving creating some wonderful gifts, drinking chai, and watching Christmas movies. Over the weekend we all took turns saying how fun it was to be crafting and spending time together, and I thought it was far better than playing bumper carts and standing in long lines. (I would love to share what was made; however, some of the recipients are also readers!)

My prayer for myself, my family, and my friends this year is that we would remember that Christmas is holy. May we all slow down this season, celebrate that True Love that was born in a stable, and enjoy the blessings and people we have all around us. A few years ago I stumbled upon a post by Rocks in My Dryer that has obviously stuck with me:

"Mom," he asked, "is Christmas stressful?"

I looked at him quizzically.

"I mean," he continued, in a classic example of pre-adolescent understatement, "you've just seemed a little tense lately. Is Christmas stressful for you?"

I took a deep breath, a breath I should've taken about a month ago.

No, I told him. Christmas is not stressful. Christmas is holy. People are stressful. I am stressful. I take what is lovely and, whether by accident or design, I cover it with expectations and selfishness and over-committment and who knows what else. What is lovely gets lost.

Well, not really. It's never lost. Maybe my line of vision gets skewed. Maybe my hurried heart falters. But what is lovely and precious and staggering about this most holy time? It's still there. He is still there. In the manger. In the heavens. In my fickle heart.

Definitely gives me something to think about, how about you?


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