In our home, Christmas is BIG. We love it – all of it. Every sight, smell, sound, taste and feel of it. Every last crumb of special treats, and minutes of annual TV specials. We sing the songs, string the lights, send the cards and host the parties. We look forward to it all year and are always sad when it is over. Is it similar in your home? Are you immersed in evergreen and fully fa la la- ing throughout December?
As a Mom, this month is a mixture of chaos and calm. I attempt to guard my time with God even more carefully during December. It is even easier for the world to distract me with their Target ads and “Biggest SALE of the season”. I do my best to keep the focus on the babe in the manger – not the hype that we have grown to accept as the holiday “norm”.
As a Catholic, the four weeks leading up to Christmas are referred to as Advent. This term is a version of the Latin word meaning “coming”. We are encouraged to prepare our hearts for the celebration of the birth of our Savior. Big picture – we are reminded to prepare for the second coming of Christ. It’s December – are you ready? In general, this question prompts us to think of the “readiness” in regards to ” Are you ready for the celebration?”. Have you cleaned the house and decorated? Have you taken stock of the pantry, made the cookies and planned the party menu? Have you bought the gifts, sent the cards, played the music? ARE YOU READY?
It’s easy to get sucked into the jolliness of the preparation. Yet, it also doesn’t take much for the “extras” to become overwhelming- since the rest of our schedules and obligations don’t disappear in December. It’s common, in fact, to race around from one errand to the next, one Christmas play to the next Holiday recital, and never fully appreciate these events. Thank goodness we took pictures so we can look back on them in January! I’m not saying that these additional activities are bad – I FULLY partake in each of them as well – what I am saying, is that they are – without a doubt – DISTRACTING. They become an obstacle. They force us to survive the month instead of ENJOY the month. And THAT is the chaos of December.
The calm part is where I’d much rather dwell. On the couch, with my coffee, Bible and devotional, and a plump, sleepy cat on my lap. Diving into the story – the real reason why we are called to prepare. The Babe in the manger – born to set us free. He came to the world in the most non – threatening way. Our Savior – a baby – and we all know what babies need …ATTENTION. They REQUIRE it in order to thrive. Time, devotion, and affection – all of these things will help to create a bond with this Babe. He doesn’t need you to clean your carpets, make homemade egg nog or hand paint ornaments. He wants YOU. Invest in Him. Devote yourself to Him. Prepare for Him. Then and only then, will it be “The most wonderful time of the year”.
Big hugs and gratitude for those of you who have taken the time to follow my blog this year. I have written from my heart and I hope it has touched yours. I appreciate you and pray you have a blessed Christmas and amazing New Year. See you in 2016 🙂