Alright friends. The time has come quickly upon us once more. Christmas will be here in less than a month and I’m kinda flipping out. 2016 went by way too fast, the fastest of all years yet! But I’m just not ready for the rush and the chaos and all the “special” kind of crazy that comes out during the holidays. Where’s the escape button for life?
If you were able to carefully remove all the extra fluff surrounding Christmas, I think this time of the year wouldn’t be so bad… for all of us. Give me Jesus, Christmas music and lights, faces of people I love and some of those delicious holiday goodies and I’m set. I don’t need the hot mess our society has made of this precious holiday. I just don’t. But, alas, every December I find myself caught up in the game, stressed out and tired.
And I’m so over it.
At the end of every year I look at my littles and I sigh. As I carefully pick out their matching Christmas outfits for pictures I look at the sizes and I can’t believe how much they have grown in just one year. Is he really this big already? When Mommy runs around in a coffee-induced adrenaline rush, trying to get everything done, my boys smile and play and love. They know how to enjoy each moment and soak up the goodness of the day. I’m trying to bake like 3,000 Christmas cookies and my baby comes running up to me and asks for bubbles. “Not now hun, Mommy is busy.” Mommy is always busy and going and trying, but for what purpose? Who am I trying to impress? Whose expectations am I trying to meet? My kids don’t care how insane my schedule is or how perfect my gingerbread man looks. They want their Momma to be present, not perfect.
I could be in a shopping frenzy at the store, attempting to grab the best deal and brag about it later to my friends, when I hear my boy join in with the song playing over the intercom. Away in the Manger. Oh that’s a good one, hey wait… Have I even talked about Jesus this season yet?! Ah! Dang you Kohl’s and your early bird specials!
The holidays have an uncanny way of bringing up personal baggage as well. Whether it’s from family issues, severed relationships, or even loss of loved ones that make holidays bittersweet… those emotions can surface and it can be rough. When I start to cry because I just can’t hold in the feelings of inadequacy, worry or pain, my boys come up to me and hug me. They may not understand why I’m crying, but they know how to comfort like few I know.
I’m a firm believer that kids are geniuses. They may not know much about adult-ing, but they sure as heck know a lot more about human-ing than most of us do. They know what really matters. They know what is worthy of their time and care and effort. They don’t care about the fluff like we do. They just want the real deal. They want us.
And so this holiday season I’m really going to do it. I say it each year, but I’m serious this time. I’m going to step back from the Holiday rat race and slow the heck down. I’m going to choose to pour my energy into the things that make my heart smile: My Jesus, my family, my friends, giving and loving. Our western culture does not get to dictate to me what I should be doing with my time, especially during these sweet seasons of celebration. I get to decide and I choose the joys of Christmas.
Years from now my kids won’t remember all the peripheral details that blur the real meaning behind Christmas. They will remember, however, family time spent around the tree, special outings with loved ones and the heart behind the ultimate Gift given to us from above.
So as we step into the first of December tomorrow, I wish you, dear reader, a Very Merry Christmas Season! May it be full of light, love and laughter. And if you ever wonder if you are getting too wrapped up in the mess, just look at your babies.
The student can be the teacher in more ways than one. 🙂