Thursday, December 25, 2008

This Christmas

It's been a different Christmas, especially for me. I think I've spent the entire Christmas season coping with this, trying to figure out what exactly that means for me.

Having Little People in the house made me really want to recreate some of the Christmas magic I so fondly remember. I mean, Christmas has always been really magical for me. I have these grand memories of idyllic Christmas mornings around the tree, Christmas Eve services, time with family, baking in the kitchen...the whole package, really. And even though Christmas really was wonderful in years past, I know the memories are a little bit inflated: we never have been a Norman Rockwell family, even if we are one in my mind.

But these memories led to some warped expectations for me. I wanted to burst forth into the Season with beautiful decorations, tantalizing aromas wafting from the kitchen, smiling children, perfectly wrapped gifts, et cetera, ad nauseum. Frankly, I've been battling my expectations since Thanksgiving... all the way on through Christmas. And it's made me a pretty miserable person.

These inflated expectations led to major disappointments. I "failed" when only nine ornaments made it on the tree, and the gifts didn't even have bows or tags on them. I was a "disappointment" when Christmas Eve supper was hastily warmed up while the baby screamed. I was a "terrible mother" when I failed to produce engaging Christmas crafts and activities for my toddler. I'm sure you can see why I was pretty miserable this season?

I wanted to create all this magic... and in it, I managed to forget the real Magic of God, with us. Emmanuel. A tiny baby came, to die, to reconcile us to our God. He was born of a virgin, bore the sins of the whole world. God is with us.

Now that is something to celebrate.

5 comments:

Carolynn said...

AMEN!

Carolynn said...

Just wanted to qualify....Amen to the last part...not to you feeling like a failure. I'm sure you go that, but still I wanted to make sure:)

Anonymous said...

oh, my darling, you are "growing up"...to be able to recognize the fact that expectations can rob you of the joy is HUGE! To acknowledge the true Reason for all the celebrating is the best gift of all. But, don't be mistaken...the enemy will try to deceive you every Christmas for the rest of your life, hoping you will make those expectations your goal instead of keeping Christ as your focus. The day we celebrate His birth is not important...any time we share with you is cause to celebrate His love. Merry Christmas, indeed, every day! Big, big love always and forever!

Anonymous said...

I too cherish the memories of your past Christmas's.

The invitation of Grammy in the kitchen while the smell of gravy cooking on the stove, momma's favorite meatballs and sausage, turkey and dressing for those non Italian visitors. Cookies baking in the oven, cider warming on the stove, your brother wondering what he's getting for Christmas and SaSa just plain content :) Mom's beautiful decorations and fabulous gift wrapping under tree. Dogs barking at every visitor. But in no way do any memories regardless of how great they are, take the place of the greatest memory of all, the one Our Saviour left for us. For unto us a Child is Born, For unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be on His shoulders: and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. AMEN

This is the Greatest Memory He gave us. Merry Christmas My Darling Daughter.. Pops

Andy and Kelly said...

I figured things were crazy, so we just headed home, but we need to see each other soon! yes, Andy just whipped that stool together! we both drew pictures, and decided on a design! he did great!