We’ve barely pushed the plate away from Thanksgiving, but the Christmas season is in full swing. Everywhere I go, I hear Christmas songs about this season being jolly, something about a silent night, dashing through some snow and laughing all the way.
Oh, and all is calm.
As a mom, am I supposed to relate to any of those songs? ‘Cause I just keep thinking of Christmas cards that need to be addressed and mailed, decorating the tree, school and office Christmas parties, buying, wrapping and sending everyone’s gifts, school Christmas programs, and anything else to make everyone else’s spirit bright – all the while my spirit is growing dimmer and dimmer.
Am I the only one who thinks it’s ironic that we celebrate the Prince of Peace by heaping loads of chaos upon ourselves? For so many moms, the Christmas season has become a big production and Mom is the producer, director, coordinator, stylist, wardrobe assistant and anything else needed to “put on Christmas”. And we put on Christmas all in the name of creating cherished memories for our kids.
As if the wrapping paper, gifts, garland and bows are the point of Christmas. As if the overwhelming avalanche of things to do are the reasons for the season.
As if the point of Christmas is something other than reflecting on what Jesus did, what He’s doing and what He will do. As if we have anything to do other than engage Jesus. My heart knows that truth, but does my Christmas schedule, budget and to-do list reflect it?
While the Christmas season is upon us, you will catch pieces of the real Christmas story as you are running to and fro. You’ll hear of Jesus’ birth in the manger. Mary and Joseph. The census. The star that shone over Bethlehem. The wise men. That in Him, the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. And that Christ is and always was God’s plan for this Earth. Amen.
As we look at how we’re celebrating Christmas, it’s important to remember Jesus isn’t impressed with our creative wrapping or our spiffy lawn ornaments. He doesn’t care if our family looks picture perfect in our Christmas cards (He knows the truth, anyway). He doesn’t love us more because we do more. He just loves us. He loves us so dearly and He wants to connect with us – that’s why He came here in the first place.
So if I edit down my Christmas to-do list, skip some details, miss a few parties and cut my spending budget will that make Christmas less special for the kids?
Ever so ironically, our kids aren’t impressed with our creative wrapping, spiffy lawn ornaments or picture perfect Christmas cards (they also know the truth). Our kids don’t love us because we do more – especially if it means we’re absent or distracted. They just love us. They love us so dearly and they want to connect with us.
This Christmas season, try being a participant in the party honoring our Savior rather than being distracted by all the details required to pull off a big production for your kids.
Before the hustle and bustle takes over the season, here are a few things to consider:
— What stressed you out the most last year and how can things be different this year?
— What are your motives behind each item on your to-do list? (Are you afraid of disappointing someone or not “measuring up”?)
— What can you say “no” to?
— Does this activity honor and celebrate Jesus?
Parents, let’s fix our eyes on Jesus and let the noise of Christmas fall away. My family will still celebrate, decorate and serve others, but we will cut away clutter that distracts us from welcoming Jesus into our celebration. Into our home. Into our hearts.
Christmas is one of my favorite topics to write about. If you’d like to read more, click on the “Christmas” tab to the right.