When Christmas Preparations are still Unfamiliar

This will be my fourth Christmas since graduating high school, my third since getting married, my second since becoming a mommy. All the talk about the hustle and bustle of Christmas is still so unfamiliar to me.

The Christmas decorations we’ve collected in our couple years of marriage took up a small corner of the china cabinet. It took a few minutes to put them out and I enjoyed each one. We were so excited to get our Christmas tree last year. It folds out easy. I love to watch Amayah play with the bells we hang on it.

We like to make gifts and will probably do our December 23rd run to buy the last gifts. I have two gifts ready, and some homemade gift ideas I’m excited to put together.

I will probably make a couple dishes to take to Christmas parties. I have a replacement idea for Christmas cookies that I can’t wait to make.

We may make a short trip to Oklahoma, but besides that we’ll stay in town.

Christmas preparations still are so enjoyable. And that’s probably because I don’t have many responsibilities, and I’m young, and the preparations are still new and fun to me.

And the hustle bustle talk from every which way seems out of place, and sometimes I wonder if I’m missing something.

But thinking on that makes me stop and see the opportunity I have here in life where Christmas easily seems so much more of a joy than a hustle. I have more time to celebrate the Savior and anticipate the season. Time to enjoy His gift, enjoy my family and savor the memories.

And there is where my preparations are undone, and I find that I am still focusing on the doing. And maybe my busy doing isn’t that Christmas bustle, but a different doing. Still I need that hustle bustle talk.

I do, and I like my doing and I like to think about how I’m doing it for Him. And I become focused on it and again I lose sight of the main thing.

Tchividjian’s statement turned me inside out when I first heard it. He talked about the danger in training our children “to obsess more over their feats for Jesus than over Jesus’ feats for them.” (From the forward to Give Them Grace, by Elise Fitzpatrick) I had thought it a good thing when my feats for Jesus are what I want to focus on the most. But I poured more of myself into my good thing than into the best thing, that of gratefully receiving, celebrating His gift. And I still tend too. 

And God knew how I needed all those reminders that I named out of place, to point me to the gift, to tell me to lay more aside of the giving that I feel so important and just treasure the gift. 

My prayer is that you find God's grace pouring through your insecure moments. In this audio series, you'll receive a few quiet minutes of encouragement each month free in your email inbox. I hope it helps you find sweet gifts inside the feelings.

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