The Holidays

Are you ready for Christmas?  That seems to be the question that everyone is asking these days.  The question is usually referring to whether you have all your presents bought and wrapped.  Is your house decorated with lights and a tree?  Have you finished your holiday baking and mailed your Christmas cards?  Are we ready?

As a mom of four small children the question I am constantly trying to ask myself is that are we remembering what Christmas is really all about.  Am I keeping enough focus on Christ and his coming?  Is the nativity sets, the advent wreath, the many messages of scripture we display around our house and the traditions we keep to remember the season enough?  Do we have room in our crazy, messy life for Him?

It is so easy to get wrapped up in buying gifts for the kids, nieces and nephews, brothers and sisters, parents, and the long list of coworkers, teachers, neighbors, and friends.  Making sure we have a picture to put on our Christmas cards and getting them mailed out in a timely fashion.  Hosting and going to Christmas parties.  Baking the treats with my kids that Bret and I baked as children.  Continuing the traditions of going out with PJ's on and looking at the lights and all of the many joyous parts that we considered our Christmas traditions.

We even try to focus on giving back by buying food and gifts for those less fortunate.  Letting our kids take food and clothes in for their school food drives.  Teaching them that to give is better than to receive.  That they are so blessed in life and that some have so much less.  That sharing is God's way and that we have a responsibility to those less fortunate.  Still is it enough?

Logan and I were at the store looking for a mini tree skirt for a small tree in his room.  He couldn't find one he liked and asked me "mom, isn't there one that says Happy Birthday Jesus?".  The reason for the season.

I used to think I got it.  I understood the nativity story and the birth of Christ and that this was really the reason we celebrated Christmas.  The older I get and the more I study scripture the less I really feel like I know.  More than ever I think about Mary.  Having carried 4 kids of my own I think about her trust in God, her journey, and her faith that gave her such strength.  Each of us as a mom worry about our babies and to know the scripture the way that she did and to know what was going to come for her precious baby boy.  The example of Joseph and his love and obedience.  His faithful service and trust.  These are the examples of the parents I want us to be for our children.  The love, joy, and faithfulness that the birth of Christ still is for us is something I awe at.

Every year I tell myself that we are going to go simpler this year.  We are going to spend less, buy less, do less, and really focus on our faith.  When Christmas is over I never feel like we have quite accomplished this.  I can only hope that we are still moving in the right direction.  That I am still teaching my children about God's love and the joy that Christ's birth brings to us.

I wish you all a very merry Christmas with much blessings.

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