Christmas is almost here y’all! Do those words bring feelings of joy and contentment, or a little anxiety and distress? I can understand if this season brings some stress. There are gifts to be bought, decorations to put up, parties to prepare for, and feasts to plan for. And on top of all of this, you may not be looking forward to seeing that certain family member who just seems to get under your skin every year. It’s once a year right? Take a deep breath and forge through.
Honest confession: Christmas season used to be a difficult time for me. I always felt like the demands on me were bigger than…well…me. I felt like all of my tasks were unending and more than I could do, or do well at least. I’d see others gliding through Christmas baking and decorating and sending out magical Christmas cards, while I was having trouble picking up my kids from school after adding their classroom gift exchanges and parties to my schedule. I put high expectations on myself to do EVERYTHING I thought was expected of me. I wanted to DO Christmas well, but I felt like a failure even before the season was over.
Maybe my focus was on the wrong things? Ya think?
Yes, I used to feel like that…but not anymore. I went from dreading this season to loving it. After all, what is Christmas about? It’s about family and friends and celebrating what Jesus did for us. His birth was the first gift. God gave us the gift of His son. The most joyous gift of all.
Let me put this a little differently…
Last week our family was in town. Our grandson was staying at our home for the first time. One of the days toward the end of their stay our son and daughter-in-law got sick and were in bed for most of the day and into the night. My husband and I cared for them and our precious grandson.
At one point I said to my husband, “This is terrible, I feel so bad.”
My husband’s response surprised me a bit, “This is a blessing.”
I’m thinking, Say what? A blessing? How is this a blessing, they are sick? Hello.
“We get to take care of them. What a blessing that we get to do this.”
He was right it was a blessing. We were blessed to have had the opportunity to show love by caring for them.
Was it work? Yes…but more of a blessing.
And that’s my perspective on Christmas now.
I get to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
I get to buy gifts for those I love.
I get to cook for my family.
I get to rejoice and praise.
I get to serve others at church.
I get to spend more time with my family.
Is it work? Yes…but more of a blessing.
And the best gift of all…
I get to serve our wonderful Savior the rest of the year.
You’ve got three weeks to enjoy the magic of Christmas. Enjoy, my friend!