Christmas · · reflections

It Happens Every Year

It’s December and Christmas is in full swing around here.  Which means we have a tree shedding on the carpet because there’s nowhere to put it except right next to the vent and this mom had her annual decorating meltdown.

Every year, folks.  Every year I say I’m going to hold it together and get over my perfectionist tendencies and my insecurities about our home and our faded, hand-me-down decorations and I’m just going to enjoy my children and the magic of the season.

And every year I get uptight and irritated and pathetic about where to hang the DecemBear calendar from Joshua’s childhood, how to make the manger scene more focal, what color lights to put on the tree.  Every year I whisper that nagging little sinful thought–

If God would just give me a bigger house, I’d be able to have a better Christmas.

We could have a bigger tree then and hang all the ornaments we want.

There could be a basement or a playroom for the kids to decorate so I can keep everything else nice and pretty and worthy of compliment.

If we had a dining room, I could set out my china and use it and enjoy it and there could be glass candlesticks and table runners and poinsettias in a sleigh.

The problem is, if we had a bigger house, I’d probably be an even bigger jerk.  Because then I really wouldn’t want my kids to mess up all my pretty things and my husband to have an opinion about lights or centerpieces or seasonal towels.  Which probably means that in the end, I’d manage to hurt everyone I love in my quest to have something tangible and temporary that I think would make me happy.

And I forget that God truly does want good things for me, He does want me to be happy, He does want my delight.  He just wants it to be in Him first.

Do you know what Jesus’s first miracle was?  He turned the water into wine.  A wedding feast was about to run dry and He touched the water.  He made it better.  It wasn’t a need.  People would have survived without more wine.  But He did it anyway because He delights in giving us good things, delightful, wonderful, lovely things that remind us we are loved.

We took a break after that little hissy fit of mine.  The girls and I gathered around the table, shoved decorations to one end and ate pb&j and chips and salsa and cereal and talked about Christmas and why it’s hard for me to believe that all this is enough because everywhere else there seems to be so much more.

They probably think their mommy is crazy.  They love what we have.  They set out snowmen and rang jingle bells and unboxed the bear who reads ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and then they read all the other Christmas books and Gus shrieked at us to pay attention to him while we hung ornaments on our tree that all have a story.

God is breaking my heart over and over right now until I get the message that this. is. enough.  That I don’t need more things, I need more Him, I need more grace, I need more love.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and restore to me the joy of your salvation…Psalm 51:12

Tell me how you’re making joy happen this year?  Not about your pinterest craft or your new wreath or your perfectly iced cookies, but how you are finding joy in all the little moments and meltdowns.

We are doing this.

Come back tomorrow?  I’m hoping to post some pictures or our sweet tree and these beautiful faces.

4 thoughts on “It Happens Every Year

  1. I had a pajama meltdown yesterday. You know: 'they have to have matching pajamas from Carter's for Christmas!' Then, I realized the coupon would not fit the purchase. Boo. then, I also realized: I saved the boys' Christmas pj's last year, and they still fit! A friend recently gave an adorable gown to Haley. Problem solved 🙂


  2. I LOVE this post! I promised myself on December 1st that I would not ALLOW myself to buy into the stress and hype. I promised myself I would not partake in commercializing Christmas. I vowed to focus on doing “kind” gestures this month for others and that is exactly what I'm hoping to do. I want to celebrate the “giving” of Christmas in a very simplistic way.


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