2 weeks from today. Is it possible? It seems just like a couple of months ago that we were taking down the Christmas tree and trying to find a place to put all the new Christmas decorations that I just had to have.
After going to a ladies Christmas Celebration Monday night, we listened to the MC introduce our speaker, Debbie Sturt, from Women of Faith. She reminded us that the rush, the exhaustion and stress we usually feel at this time of year comes from so many responsibilities falling on our shoulders. Linda pointed out that it is the ladies in the family that get the kids dressed for the family Christmas picture, being sure that their outfits are all clean and ironed, all the while being sure that the smile that we insist they paint on their faces, happens in sync. It is the wives and moms that send out the Christmas cards, plan the menu, get the decorations out to adorn our homes. It is usually up to the ladies in the family to make sure that we don’t sit Uncle Joe by Cousin Bertha at the table. That the groceries are bought and cooked. The list goes on and on. We wonder why we are exhausted by December 25th? Let me count the ways.
In spite of the above mentioned chaos, the traditions that we hold so dear come to mean so much, at each passing year. I walked into our bedroom a few minutes ago and glanced over at Minnie Mouse and Grumpy which has hung on the bedposts of our bed for probably 15 years each Christmas. A feeling of coziness and nostalgia swept over me. I cannot imagine Christmas without these two silly dolls hanging on each of the sides of our bed. The Christmas clock that chimes a Christmas carol every hour and the Christmas pillows which my mom made so many years ago. The new things we purchase are nice, but the things that we have had for many years are the things that make our homes such a welcome and comfortable place to be during this time. To have a home where people felt “at home” and comfortable was always so important to me. This year, Randy (Frosty) and I (Noel) want to be sure that our eyes stay focused on what makes Christmas…Christmas and it is the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We hope that as we purchase gifts for loved ones, that when we are buying the gifts, we will be lifting them up in prayer and asking God to bless them throughout the year. That while we are standing in long lines, waiting to be checked out, that our hearts will be thinking of the people around us and saying a quick prayer for them. We never know what circumstances people are going through, even though they might have a smile on their face. The peace that we all desire can come, despite the business and stress of the holidays. God is the key to that peace, His Word tells us that “God will keep us in perfect peace, if our mind is stedfast and trust in HIm” Isa 26:3
As we countdown to Christmas, may we look up to the One whose birth gave us the gifts that cannot be bought, grace, peace and eternal life…We just need to accept them, they are gifts from our Heavenly Father.