Our culture is so busy. Expectations are so high.
Holidays seem to magnify everything. Holidays in themselves are not the problem. God set up days for Israel to remember. They were holy days. (See where we got holidays and perhaps went wrong). Holy is set apart, different, special. The days were to remember Him, His goodness, His deliverance, and His promises.
It is so easy today to get wrapped up in the preparations, the presentations, and appearances. If you go to the store, look at magazines, get on Pinterest, everyone seems to have better ideas and everything more together. But really do you post your everyday reality online or do you post your best? Most everyone is posting their best for you to compare to.
I have a challenge for myself every holiday season. You are welcome to share it.
See I wrote this book called Christmas is About Jesus. I wrote it because I believe it’s true. Yet every year after the black and orange and skeletons finally leave the stores, replaced with the sparkle and lure of Christmas I used to get discouraged.
I had some ideal about Christmas so deep inside I didn’t even know what all was involved. I like a big tree, I want peace, and I want fun, baking, games, and gifts treasured by the receivers. In there I also want the perfect house and quiet conversations on the couch lit only by the peaceful white lights on the tree.
None of these things I want are wrong.
Somehow without me knowing they become too important. Looking at the decorations in the stores or on Pinterest would to fill me with a miserable longing and feeling of failure. I had to ask myself, “If Christmas is about Jesus why am I affected so much by decorations?”
So my challenge is to do with my holidays what I have started doing with every day. I’m asking God what is important to Him. What does he want me to get done? Of course, the top of the list is remembering His deliverance and blessings. How will I do that this year? I’ve only started asking.
In past years I’ve done different things: choosing to express thanks for each decoration display I see, enjoying the beauty where I see it. Asking the children what is important to them and getting it scheduled.
I will take my challenge and plan my holidays with God again this year.
He doesn’t care if I do or don’t make for dinner from scratch. He has no requirements on how extensively or simply my home is decorated.
He wants me to prepare my heart. Do I cherish the gifts He gave me in Jesus so long ago? Do I cherish the gifts he has placed in my home that I – theoretically at least – would be trying to make Christmas so special for?
I challenge myself and you to have holy days this year instead of just holidays. How can you simplify? What is not realistic this year? What do we do to remember, recall, and recite?
Ask God, your husband and children what matters most to them, you may be surprised.