The house is decorated, the trees are up, presents under the tree, and I’m trying to stay in the Christmas Spirit. I promise you, just like I know the sun rises in the east, December is crazier than May.
Why do I feel the pressure to give my family a perfect Christmas? The house has to be fully decorated; Christmas cards purchased, stuffed, and mailed out; thoughtful gifts for all teachers wrapped and given to appropriate children; socks, mittens, and books for said trees at the elementary schools; cash for Angel trees at other schools; planning the Christmas party for the 6th grader’s homeroom; getting Christmas for the under-privileged children we’ve adopted for Christmas; participating in community Christmas events; company and friend’s Christmas parties; buy all the gifts (including my own); work a shift at church in the children’s program; homework; school programs; cooking; sports; dance; and spreading Christmas cheer by singing loud for all to hear. Okay – the last one is one of my favorite lines from Elf, but it wouldn’t surprise me if other people feel the need to do that one, too. With all these Christmas activities, I think I need a V8.
With all of this going on, who has time to focus on the real MEANING of Christmas?
A few years ago I decided not to be so crazy; I mean things are still crazy, but I’m making the conscious choice to not let it affect my emotions. It’s not my job to give the perfect Christmas; it’s my job to set the tone of Christmas. What I found is that when I choose to be this way, the Christmas season is more wonderful than I could ever imagine, and not just for me, but for the fam as well. The old adage, ‘if momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy’ comes to mind. As the mom, when I choose the right tone, our family has a swing in its mood as well. We are free to love greater, cheer louder, and focus on the reason we have Christmas in the first place, Christ.
I start decorating the house when it fits into my family’s schedule, not what everyone says is okay, and this year it was the week before Thanksgiving. All you boo-birds can boo all you want, but for my sanity, that’s when I decorate. We still have Thanksgiving & LOVE every second of it, but so what if my Nativity Set is on my buffet while we go around and say why we’re thankful, or the angels my children made while in preschool that are framed are hung in my den? Am I not thankful for the little hands that made them?
Now that the children are older, Christmas is easier because they can help in so many ways.
The children, now that they are older, can help with so many things at Christmas. When we shop for the Christmas family we do it as a family. The children play a much bigger part in the purchasing. For teacher gifts this year we’re making homemade scarves, very easy & very inexpensive. I started the Christmas card process in October, and now all I have to do is order them & the whole family will participate in the stuffing, sealing, stamping, and sticking while watching a Christmas movie. They love to pick out gifts for each other, and wrap their gifts. I like this one. We have our big Christmas dinner after church on Christmas Eve, and I prepare our Christmas breakfast before I go to bed the 24th.
A lot of the other stuff on the list above is one time happenings in December, and as long as I keep that in mind, and approach it with my Christmas glasses on, it’s all good. It helps add flavor to my Christmas, and who wants a boring Christmas anyway? Not I, so I say bring it on. My dream and prayer for you is the same as for my own family. I pray you have a beautiful Christmas filled with joy and the wonder of the season.
This post was written by Ashley Nance. Contact Ashley at firstname.lastname@example.org
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