Wednesday, December 26, 2012

My search for a significant Christmas

     Did you have a blessed Christmas?  We did!  By anyone's standards we are so blessed!  We enjoyed gathering with family, eating lots of food, and exchanging gifts.
      But I am always disappointed when Christmas is over.  I always feel a little sad and unfulfilled.  I spend several weeks in preparation, trying to live up to expectations (mine & others) of what Christmas should look like, not wanting to disappoint anyone.  I keep trying to hurry up and get the preparations over--the decorations up, the gifts bought, the baking done, the meals planned, etc. so that I can have more time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.  (I'm trying to learn to do this while I'm doing the expected things, but often get distracted).  I want to truly experience the significance of Jesus coming as a baby--the magnitude of the sacrifice He made--not just talk about it.  I want to treasure this time--instead of endure it.  I want to spend memorable time with my children and grandchildren making memories, having friends over for meaningful discussions, taking walks to enjoy the crisp night air and to reflect on that night when angels appeared to the shepherds announcing the birth of a Savior.  I want to light the candles and turn on the Christmas music so that I can sit in stillness and wonder--or better yet--gather with friends to make beautiful Christmas music together and celebrate the joy!  I want to be sensitive to the hurting, to bring God's love to them with healing & encouragement instead of passing them by in my busyness.
      I have little glimpses of these throughout the season, but I am often so busy with the 'better' that I miss the 'best'.  (I believe my expectations may be a little high :o), but then how will I ever get better if I don't expect more?)
      It seems that much meaningful quality time with others has been replaced with eating & unwrapping gifts.   I believe changing the way we 'do Christmas' is the answer, but because we have done it this way for so many years, it has become a routine which we don't seem to know how to change.  (And then there are some who actually enjoy it this way and don't want it to change.)  The Christmas season has become one of too much activity and materialism--one in which I can't seem to stop myself enough from participating, so that I can slow down to let the incredible message of Christmas saturate my entire being.  But even as I'm putting so many expectations on myself,  I'm longing to figure out what is essential in all that I do, and to stop everything that hinders my experience of the meaning and significance in all that is associated with the celebration of the season.
      I haven't found the perfect balance yet in the 'doing' and the 'being'.  I'm not very hopeful that I will, but I'm planning to keep trying.
       Any suggestions?  If I start now, maybe next December will be even simpler and more meaningful.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

May I suggest you find the simplicity of the manger scene as you look upon it. Allow it to permeate throughout your preparation for the next celebration, starting now.