It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, well, you know:
Christmas boxes E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E, cookies baking, decorations on the mantel, stockings hung to perfection, Christmas movie on and everyone smiling while taking in the Christmas spirit; not exactly.
More like: BAH-HUMBUG!
Now, don't get me wrong, the above description is everything I love about Christmas and what I somehow really envisioned as we so effortless pulled the boxes out of the attic. The problem with my Christmas fairy tale was no one in my family got the memo; NO ONE!
The boxes were exploding at the seams and bursting chaos into my house. Slowly, things began to make it from the box and into the proper holiday spot. The tree was picked out and eventually the decorating began. I wrapped the tree tightly, in what seemed like an extra long process this year, of lights and called the family in to help with the decorating.
And....I waited.....and waited.
A few sweet souls hung a few ornaments until that turned into War World Three. We were fighting over who was hanging whose ornament and where they put it.
I was chasing another one outside that had NO desire to help at all!
HANG -IT-HERE!!!! Really?!?! I guess me yelling kind of fueled the fire. What was I thinking; well, I wasn't.
As the day went on nothing went right. I broke too many ornaments to count.
We attempted to all watch a movie until they ALL dispersed into the unknown like someone caught their pants on fire.
I guess at that point it was safe to say that my perfect holiday spirit was GONE! I was so mad and upset that no one was helping me get into the Christmas cheer.
I had memories of being a little girl and decorating with my mom and making cookies at Christmas time and how perfect it all was, and yet I began to realize that my memories may not be so exact.
Yes, we did all those things, but I am sure there was arguing and it was not always perfect, but it was so much more that made me remember it that way.
My husband ask me why I was so upset, was I expecting perfection?
"Of course not," was my first thought, and then I realized that was exactly what I wanted. I had this idea of what the Christmas season should look like and how it should feel and I was completely let down when my family did not meet my unbelievably unreal expectations.
The truth is, no holiday and no family is ever perfect. The reason my memories are so great is because it was not about the decorating itself but about being together and the memories we made in our home around Christmas that mattered the most.
My kids are getting older and may or may not always what to help "deck the halls", but that does not mean we cannot enjoy what Christmas is all about.
As I looked around at my house and the pictures of all the hard work, none of it mattered as much as one single picture. One picture really got my attention.
It was a picture taken from a program our church presented about what Christmas is all about. Jesus Christ and the story of His life. It reminded me that without Him, I have nothing and I am nothing.
Without Him, I have no family to cherish this special time of year where we can celebrate His birth.
We so often get wrapped up in the "feeling" of Christmas cheer that we forget to search deep within our hearts for the only true gift ever given.
Give and celebrate. Deck the halls and love like never before, but do it because God first loved you. Give because He gave the only gift that never stops giving.
The truth is, I have always loved the innocence of little kids at Christmas time, but the reality is that my kids are no little anymore and the innocence is fading faster than I can blink.
The problem was that my reality of what perfection is had become slightly obscured.
Perfection is the mess we make while making cookies. The lessons learned and teachable moments. The memories made through the good and bad.
Perfection is a tiny baby wrapped in cloth and laying in a manger. He was sent to give us the moments to be Christ in the flesh to those who only see the chaos in Christmas,
Because of Him, it truly is a perfect Christmas.
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:14