When the hustle of Christmas began to choke my joy, I found myself willing to consider big changes. I have been able to be a part of every one of BCF’s different locations. I look forward to the day God will provide a permanent home for the BCF family.
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among people with whom he is pleased!”
Luke 2:14 (New English Translation)
Peace can be difficult for me because I have a lot of expectations when it comes to Christmas. Basically, I feel like everything should be perfect, and it’s my job to make it that way. I’ve found that perfect and peace don’t go together. This week in the message we were encouraged to accept where we are and our reality. I struggle with this. I tend to think if I just work harder, faster, and sleep less than I can physically make a perfect Christmas. My reality conflicts with these desires and efforts.
I used to think that home-cooked meals and beautifully wrapped gifts were necessary for it to feel like Christmas. I had the expectation that I would feel peaceful and enjoy all the wonderful moments. With one child, it was a challenge. By the time there were five little ones, I was in way over my head!
With help from my husband, I began to accept that Christmas could be different and still good. That I didn’t have to work harder, smarter, and never sleep to “make” the perfect Christmas. One Christmas Eve celebration, we had take-out pizza! Why not? The most radical change was shifting our Christmas celebration with our children from Christmas Day to New Year’s Day. By shifting the date of our immediate family’s celebration, we were free to spend more meaningful, less stressed time with Scott’s family on Christmas Eve and then with my family on Christmas day. Knowing we still had a week to plan and prepare for Christmas at our house, gave some peace to our previously frantic hearts.
What seemed like a huge adjustment and maybe even strange has become one of our most cherished traditions. It gives us something to look forward to beyond December 25th. It spreads the season and the joy! And not having a mother that is completely crazy from the hustle and bustle is always a plus!
You might not need to make the same choices and decisions we have, but I’d encourage you to think outside the box. Pray, asking God for wisdom for your circumstances. Ask those close to you: a spouse, a friend, a parent… how can I simplify this season? Where do I tend to go a little crazy?
Christmas is really about people, not the trimmings. Be willing to accept your reality and receive help (pizza!), so you can enjoy those around you. Be present. Not crazy!