Sometimes, I put too much pressure on myself for holidays. I don't know. I spend regular days sometimes, in my worst moments, worrying that I am somehow am screwing it all up for my kids. So, on any given holiday I am capable spending at least half of it worrying that I am doing it all wrong......which ironically, if you are sitting at a holiday gathering worrying if you are doing it all wrong then you are. So relax, self, chill out.
I have been spending some time thinking about Christmas, how I want our family to celebrate. I have such rich memories of Christmas growing up. Of setting out the nativity and reading "The Night Before Christmas," of gingerbread houses and lighting advent candles. I want my girls to have the same.
I don't think there is anything wrong with waking up on Christmas morning and looking forward to your presents. We didn't always have the money to make every kids wish on Christmas morning. But my gifts were always well thought out. I opened them and knew that my parents had paid attention to my wants and needs. I felt loved.
I want that for my girls. I want them to know that I pay attention to and care about the things that they love. But I can already see how fast it can happen, how your house can fill up with plastic and your kids can never be satiated. How it can become all about more, more, more.
I have heard people who are commenting on it all running together. Thanksmas they are calling it. I think that reflecting on what I am thankful for is perhaps the best way to start my Christmas season. But I am not in love with the phrase "Thanksmas." That whole taking Christ out of Christmas thing. So I shoved it together the other way in my head and came up with "Christ-giving". Now that is a holiday I can get behind. A whole holiday month I can celebrate.
I want this to be a time where my girls celebrate what Christ has given to our family. The enormity of Him coming to earth as a baby, as well as the smallest miracle of a parking space close to the store with an empty shopping cart next to it when it is raining and we need it most. Christ has given me every good thing in my life, and I want to reflect on that. And I want those gifts to inspire us to give generously, in the name of Christ. To decide that instead of one more toy at our house, we would rather take an extra name off of the angel tree.
I want to celebrate Christ giving me my family, for providing this year for us abundantly. Giving me my salvation and then lavishing his gifts still further. Wanting wonderful things for me. I want to celebrate by allowing Christ to move into our hearts and move us to give. So, happy "Christ-giving" to you and yours. May God richly bless you as you richly bless others this season.
That's what we are going for anyway....that and copious amounts of cookies.