I am a worrier. I think on some level we all are. During Christmastime, amidst the hustle and bustle of shopping, baking, crafting, wrapping, and decorating my underlying worry is that I am not putting enough emphasis on the real reason for the season- celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I know I’m not alone. Any quick Pinterest search on “putting Christ in Christmas” will yield innumerable ideas on how we can be more focused on Him. As a family we employ some of these methods… We look for ways to serve others, donate coveted new toys at the fire station and drop our change into red kettles. We read Luke 2. A lot. We celebrate the Jesse Tree Advent. We wrap a service box and write the ways we secretly help others on a slip of paper and tuck it inside. Then we open the present on Christmas Eve- our gifts of service to Baby Jesus. And then yes, we eat a birthday cake in His honor. We set up a Nativity and review the sweet story. We sing Christ centered seasonal hymns. We put emphasis on giving gifts from the heart. Our bedtime books are favorites like, Room for a Little One and The First Christmas Tree. We act out the Nativity, complete with costumes of bathrobes and towel headdresses cinched with old ties. Dad is always cast as the donkey. And I ask my boys over and over, “Now, what is the real reason we celebrate Christmas?” The twinkle in their eye and accompanying smile as they reply, “Jesus,” probably means I should stop worrying so much.
So now I have a new anxiety, I am I putting enough emphasis on a Christ-centered life throughout the whole year? Maybe it is actually easier at Christmas because we have a perceived reason. Perhaps I need to step up my game on more purposeful activities that remind me and my littles that we cherish Him always. I am grateful for Jesus Christ, His sacrifice and Atonement for my salvation. I value His companionship and guidance as I navigate life’s many twists and turns. He is my Friend. When I feel lonely or tired, overwhelmed or disappointed, I know He has been there too. That is so comforting- to know that someone felt exactly the way I do. And I also believe that he delights in the many joys and successes of my life. I give thanks for those many blessings that He and my Heavenly Father have seen fit to bestow upon me. They do not go unnoticed in my mind. And so I will try harder. I will pray more. Study more fervently. Look for better ways to serve others. Seek activities that teach more about Jesus. Help the poor and needy. And commit to honor and celebrate Him and His many gifts, of which I am deeply grateful for, far beyond the month of December.
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