Christmas isn’t just a day, am I right? It’s a season. The other day a young guy at the meat counter asked me if it felt like Christmas to me because he had not heard many Christmas songs on the radio this year. I thought maybe he was referring to the Spring like weather we are experiencing here in Michigan. Rainy and cloudy. No snow this Christmas. Does it feel like Christmas because you are up to your ears in wrapping paper or you find yourself yelling, ‘Don’t get it’, when the UPS man is delivering packages daily? Lots of friends have been posting their spot that makes them happy. Their Christmas tree in the quiet of the night when everyone is in bed. The quiet is a good place to be to reflect, ponder, wish. Is this Christmas?
I have enjoyed my 25 day Countdown this year. Not to be confused with my 12 day countdown of funny quips my 9 year old daughter has said this year. Zoe says funny things almost every day. I write them down and have been sharing them for the past three Christmases. No, that’s not my favorite countdown. Ever since I was newly married I have surrounded myself with devotions to dig into over the month of December. Honestly, I’m not very successful. Yes, its the craziest month of the year if you have little kids who have an elementary school event to attend twice a week or a teenager that needs a ride to a party or band practice or you have a party to bring a gift to. Did you sign up for room mom again and have to organize your kid’s Christmas party? You get the picture. I remember a book called Redeeming the Season which helps you do little meaningful tasks to remind yourself of why December 25 is so special. Have you had those moments? Hopefully when you sit in peace around your tree you aren’t too stressed to think of the crazy day you just had but instead you choose to be thankful for what you have. Hopefully when you sit in peace you are filled with love and feel useful. Hopefully you have that one moment of peace.
I’ve had that intentional moment of peace and thankfulness every morning around 6 am. Sometimes earlier. I came across a Christmas advent calendar I brought home from my visit to Hillsong Church while visiting my cousin in Sydney three years ago. I packed it away and didn’t use it until this year. Each morning I scratch off a circle that includes a Bible passage, a thought and an action for the day. The best thing about this is after I scratch off the circle I take a picture of it and text it to my cousin who is 16 hours ahead in the day because she wanted to share in the awe of Christmas too.
I have loved this moment and only (honestly) have missed one day and had to rush that reading just to get it in.
Someone complimented me the other day. He observed me hosting a dinner party for Zoe and 7 friends on Friday night to kick off their two week Christmas break. We had crafts, games and food planned and they were all hyped up on sugar. I’ve been through hosting this kind of thing before like, 7 years ago for Blaire and her friends. I have help and he asked me why I do it. He knows I’m also hosting a few family gatherings in the next five days that include sleepover guests. I said I have experience to say no to the less important things. I also have help from Blaire and Scott and I’m better at pacing myself. But now I know the answer. It isn’t because I’m an experienced mom and manage my time well. No, it’s all because I’ve started my day handing it over to Jesus. That should always be my answer because it’s true.
Some of the suggested actions this month have been;
Share an encouraging word with someone
Meditate on Gods calling on your life
Listen to someone’s dream today
Tell someone some good news today
Pray to know Jesus and his grace and truth more
How can we get through our long ‘to do’ list and complete these tasks? These are the things that count the most! That’s how. Everyday that I make God a priority is a good day.
So what if all your gifts are in bags because wrapping takes too long. Good for you.
So your baking came from a cookie walk. Awesome!
Ask your kids if they care if you don’t have Christmas crackers this year. They don’t.
So try not to run around today. Take it easy. Delegate and pray. Be still. It was a majestic and peaceful night when Jesus was born. Enjoy!