Once again we find ourselves facing Christmas. Just 22 days until the big day. Advent is already up and going, a time to prepare our hearts for the birth of our Savior. 25 days to take the time to reflect and remember that it all began in a manager and it all culminated with an empty tomb.
Oh Christmas, how I love you and don?t love you all at one time. Christmas is a busy season, if not THE busiest season. Everything seems to be ratcheted up a notch or more. I feel pressure to make it magical, special, & of course memorable! I spend so much time ?making it something? that I forget the something it truly is. And come Christmas night, I feel disappointed. I feel as if I have missed the mark? again.
Sure, I baked and frosted traditional sugar cookies. I made pies and pork tenderloins. I popped batch after batch of chocolate popcorn to distribute to my coworkers.
I listened to and sang along with all the Christmas songs. Everything from ?Santa Baby? to ?Silent Night?. I wrapped gifts and then unwrapped them. I watched Christmas movies, and attended the annual performance of Handel?s Messiah.
I drank hot chocolate and decorated my trees, I lit cinnamon candles and made wassail. I wore an ugly Christmas sweater, took a family picture, added a newsy letter and mailed out the Christmas cards.
I attended parties, plays, and concerts. I decked the halls. I was jolly.
I did all these things that made up Christmas, but in the end I was empty.
Empty because the loud world lead me through Christmas. Instead of leaning into the silent nights, I drove around to see the bright Christmas lights. Instead of being still and thankful, I made lists and found the best deals on Black Friday.
I tried to remember to light the advent candles & set aside time to reflect, but I was so busy with other things.
But today, December 3rd, I can make this year different. The dishes can sit while I play a game with my family. I can buy cookies and have a quiet time instead of baking. I can use gift bags instead of wrapping. I can worship with songs of who He is and what He has promised instead of singing along with the radio.
I can forget about trying to get everyone together for a family picture, and instead take the time to write personal notes in each and every card, praying for those who will receive them.
This Christmas my goal is to remember it is Christmas, and what the season is about. Really remember.
And I will follow my own advice, the advice we give from Mary & Martha, where I will make a memory and clean up later. I will be mindful that it?s not about perfection, it?s about the people.
And that at the end of the day it is all about sharing life?together!
Will you join me in remembering Christmas and its true meaning?