Monday, December 15, 2014

Why Nothing You Can Do Can Make (Or Break) Christmas

Oh, that look.  The twitch.  The shaky proclamation "you all think Christmas just HAPPENS, don't you?"

Even commercials poke fun at her, the run down vision of a mom who has visited 10 stores in pursuit of whatever toy her child requested, stayed up til 2 am wrapping gifts or baking 10 different kinds of cookies for some gathering or other.

It's a joke and we all know it - most of us can relate to feeling that way at some time during the holiday season.  But beneath the laughter at it all, a still small voice inside me tells me to take a closer look.

It's Saturday and he's taken most of the kids out shopping.  The baby naps and I clean and straighten decorations, preparing for company in the evening.  And as I clean I begin to see the pride and perfectionism in it all.  "Take them with you," I had said.  "I can't get the house nice with them here."  As if a home couldn't be Christmas-ready a midst childish mayhem.

It's a seductive thought.  We like to think we are the ones who do it all.  Our spreadsheets and lists of all of the extras keep us up at night, yet for some reason we enjoy it.  The idea that it all hinges on us - and that we could make this special for the people around us.

Mamas, we don't "make" Christmas.  We may feel like we do.  We may think we do.  We may even try to.  "I just want to make this Christmas special."  "I want to make great memories during the holidays."  "I want to make my home beautiful for Christmas."

The truth is, the God of the universe did not elicit our help when He made Christmas.  In fact, were we on the earth at the time, likely we wouldn't have even recognized it at all.  He didn't need party planners and tinsel, flickering candles or perfectly coordinating family outfits to make Christmas happen.  So why do we so often feel like we do?

"It just wouldn't be Christmas without (fill in the blank)."

Yes, it would.

God made Christmas by giving all of humanity a gift that we didn't even know we needed or wanted. He didn't wrap it in bright holly red and he didn't order it from Amazon.  He made it.  He didn't need us to make it special.  He still doesn't.

I can't make Christmas any more than I can make reindeer fly.  I can't make it by scrubbing my house extra bright or by playing Christmas music from dawn to dusk.  I can't do it by decorating cookies with my little ones or surprising my husband with the perfect gift on Christmas morning.

God makes Christmas, and He offers us, even now, His Christmas gift: Peace.  So why is it still so hard for us to accept?

Peace is lost in pursuit of perfection and I can't receive my heaping Christmas dose if I'm still convinced that I'm still the one who makes it all happen.  Peace comes when I make space in my home and heart for Him and invite my little ones along on the journey - welcoming Christ's Christmas and letting everything else gently go.

This Advent, I'm praying to let go of pride and perfection and accept His gift of Peace.

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
Luke 2:14

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  1. Perfect post to read today. I really needed to hear this. Thank you for allowing God to use your writing gift to bless others!

  2. Lydia,
    I really, really, really needed to hear this today!! Perhaps I should rip up my to do's and just enjoy. thank you, thank you:):):)

  3. Yet again you hit the nail right on the head!!!
    thank you - so good to read this. just this morning I was fretting that I couldn't get a jar of mince meat here (in france but i'm welsh) and thinking that it just won't be christmas without mince pies; yes it will!!

  4. Oh I know this feeling - so closely do we hold our own sweet traditions and "how it's always been"! I'm so certain that your Christmas will definitely show up, with or without mince pies!

  5. Yes! Definitely enjoy. I think sometimes we forget that Christmas is FOR us - not something we need to perform for or perfectly execute to deserve.

  6. Thank you April! I dug it out of the archived posts because I needed it, too!

  7. One week till Christmas, house is finally clean (well accepting as is), presents finally bought (except for husband). So one week, have I still got time to capture the spirit, to slow down and just be, to enjoy. and how now do I do that? read Christmas books, play music, I seem to have lost my way


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