Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The "Why" of Christmas

Yes, I may have just wrapped my first Christmas gift of the season with a glue stick instead of tape because I can never find my scotch tape when I need it. No, you may not judge me!

But seriously, though, why does the Christmas season have to be hurried? Who decided to cram weekends and weekouts with parties, activities, and obligations? I bet it was the same fool who invented the Elf on the Shelf. Or his great great great great grandfather, or something.
  Please don't get me wrong, I love gathering together with friends and/or family for fun parties and doing special activities with my precious children as much as the next mom, but putting them back to back to back to back is taxing on anybody! Heck, my mom was listing her calendar of events for the month of December to me the other day, and I got tired just listening to it.
  I think I would better be able to handle all this fun-having if so much wasn't expected. Expected of me, expected of the party, expected of my kids,... just expected! You can't just host a Christmas party by cleaning your house and setting out the appropriate amount of seating and snacks; you have to make sure your home is beautifully and festively decorated and smells like warm sugar cookies and cinnamon and that you have enough theme-appropriate dishes you could stuff everyone at your next church pot luck. And when invited, you cant just show up at these events without an impressive, pintrest-worthy appetizer that will have people praising your culinary skills and asking for the recipe later. And if the lights you put up in your front yard aren't synchronized to music of some sort and costing you and arm and a leg and some sleep, don't even bother decorating, you slouch!
   My satirical tirade is not at all meant as a slight to those of my dear readers who actually do all the above with joy, gusto and aplomb. I'm simply trying to express how I feel in times like these. I do not have the gift of organization. Or planning. Or a good memory. So for me, all the seemingly simple additions to the usual party or gathering; such as buying/wrapping/bringing gifts, remembering all the ingredients for each platter I pledged to bring and having it prepared in time, or which day/what time the events are happening, is a stressful burden on my usually frazzled brain!
    And on top of all of the bonus tasks the holidays bring, I have to keep my house clean (-ish) and my family fed! Just writing about it makes me want to curl up in bed and take a nap.
   But I don't want this post to make me out to be a Grinch. I definitely don't want to cause anyone reading this to suddenly realize how much Christmas stresses them out and despair! Because the honest-to-goodness truth is I love Christmas! The whole Christmas season! Christmas parties are always fun and entertaining. I love how special all the decorations everywhere makes this time of year feel. I love the smell and tastes and sounds and songs that I always associate with Christmas time. (If I smell a pine tree in mid-June, I feel like it's Christmas for a few seconds, despite the Texas summer heat!) And, as I've already said, I love spending special time with my family and my friends.
   Most of all, dear readers, I love that we are celebrating the most mind-blowing, unbelievable, inconceivable birthday in the history of history. When I stop, slow my mind down, and dwell on the real reason why we're celebrating like we are, I am amazed.
     Friends, let's take a quick rabbit trail:
I am pregnant. Inside me, a life is forming, helpless and small, that is completely dependent on me for its survival. Even after the birth of said life, this tiny newborn baby will be the most helpless it will ever be in its life. Are you envisioning a tiny, new baby right now?
    Now try, if you dare, to envision the creator of the universe. The Alpha and Omega. The First and the Last. Try to picture the second person of the Trinity, through whom all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. A being that holds together the very existence of creation.
    All that glory- that bigness that is God the Son condescended Himself to become just like the helpless life that is currently the size of an apple in my womb. God didn't just become man, He was born. Jesus, the Son of God, was once Mary's newborn baby. Forget the humble manger, the lowly stable, the smelly shepherds being the first visitors- Jesus Christ, the very Word of God, was a newborn! Born to live a perfect life that I never could, then die a sinner's death as I deserve, then defeat death and rise again so that I can trade my sinful rags for his perfect righteousness and live forever with Him!            
 That's mind-blowing! That's life-changing! That's definitely worthy to be celebrated in a big, drawn-out way!
Without Christmas, there would be no Easter. Without Easter, there would be no hope. I love celebrating Christmas AND Easter because of what we are celebrating, not how we are celebrating. And my husband and I are trying our darnedest to teach our children this important truth.
  Oh, how easy it is to get swept up, carried away with, and overwhelmed by the business of this season. May it be, Lord, that through it all, we can show our children the true reason why this month of the year is distinguished from all the others. You came as a little baby, sweet and small, born to be the King of all. We are celebrating You, and what You did for us! Thanks for doing that, by the way.

  In closing, dear readers, be encouraged! Have great cheer! Enjoy yourselves as we draw closer and closer to Christmas day. Through it all, remember why we're celebrating. It's a sure-fire way to truly be blessed by this Christmas season. 

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