I don’t know about you, but it feels like all of a sudden, we’re in the final sprint towards Christmas.
Like – we blinked, and it was Halloween. Then we looked away for one second, and it was Thanksgiving. And NOW, we look up, and it’s like we just rounded the final corner, and the Christmas “finish line” is just one 100 meter dash away.
Tomorrow will be 10 days left until Christmas Eve. Ten days.
And, I also don’t know about you, but I have approximately 3.9% of my Christmas shopping done. Yeah…three point nine…AKA: I have done none of it, minus a little trinket I found back in August at a shop in Lake Tahoe I thought my sister-in-law would like.
So I am…a little behind schedule.
And everywhere we turn, we’re bombarded by sales, and “XX Number of Shopping Days Left”, and “buy early because of the shipping crisis,” and not to mention the fact that everything is 50% more expensive than usual because of this crumbling country’s dang inflation. I just spent 9 dollars for one dozen eggs today. NINE DOLLARS.
Those chickens had better been hand-fed golden bugs while getting a massage in a temperature-controlled boudoir for that price.
But I digress.
I doubt I’m the only one that is feeling that sort of strain this Christmas.
The pressure of gift buying, booking flights home, holiday tips, Christmas parties, addressing Christmas cards, etc…it’s just…a lot.
And to be honest, it can really take the jolly out of the season.
Over the weekend, it was my special gentleman’s birthday. (And if you follow me on Instagram, you saw some fun photos/videos from the celebration in real time)…
On Sunday, Steven and I spent the day with his family in New Jersey for his birthday. And after dinner, we all gathered around the Advent wreath, and his little nephews and niece did the readings and we all took turns doing part of the prayers, lighting the candles, etc. It was so beautiful.
And this morning, during my morning jog, as I was mentally making my daunting “To-Do” list for the day, my mind kept going back to that special moment around the Advent wreath together. And that’s when I realized: that’s what I had been missing this whole time. That powerful centering on Jesus, His coming to this earth as a baby, and what that means for my life.
And I decided right then and there that from now forward, I was going to shift my focus and adopt a new mindset for Christmas — and really for every day.
This weekend, there were lots of celebrations for Steven’s birthday. And we walked away from the weekend just being so filled with joy and love from being together with loved ones. There was so much love in that room that night at his party, and with his family the following day. So much love.
And that’s what is important this Christmas: it’s not the presents, or making sure the house is immaculate for guests, or that the Christmas lights on the outside of the house match the enthusiasm of the neighbor’s display…no. It’s being with people who you love and care about.
But what’s more…is remembering why all those people are together. This weekend, we were together to celebrate Mr. Special Gentleman…our friend/son/brother/uncle(Tito)/or in my case, boyfriend. 🙂 That was the purpose, and it gave the time together such a special meaning.
This Christmas, I want to really focus on why we’re getting together with loved ones and family. Why we’re celebrating, exchanging gifts, decking the halls, practicing special traditions we only do this time of year.
At Christmas, we’re all celebrating together, because we love Jesus, and it’s His birthday. It’s when He humbly came down to earth in poverty, as a child, to ultimately die for your and my sins.
He came to save the world. And we’re celebrating that.
That’s the purpose behind the merriment.
“The reason for the season,” if you will allow me to be so cliche.
But it’s true. And when you start operating with that mindset, it just puts everything else into perspective. All of a sudden, the gifts are just gifts, the travel isn’t so stressful, and there’s a peace that comes from gazing upon the manger…who’s cradle is empty as we await His coming.
That new mindset, invites a shift in focus, rather than preparing the house and the presents and the cards…I should prepare my heart.
I should focus on creating in my spirit an inviting home for the Christchild, as He is born into this world to ultimate give His life for me in love.
So. I would like to invite you to join me and do the same. Because what is Christmas if we remove Jesus from the equation? It’s just another day of consumerism and gluttony, to be honest.
Let’s celebrate the real meaning of Christmas today, and every day.
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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