We’re just days away. How on earth did that happen?!?! I find myself a bit more captivated this year with the wonder of Christmas.
It’s no secret I love everything pepperminty and pine, but this year something is different.
Maybe it’s because of the myriad of health tests I’ve walked through this year, or the heart procedure I experienced last month. Maybe it’s because of the path of brokenness and healing I’ve found God leading me on in 2018. Or, quite possibly it’s because of the recent Bring Your Own Bible and Beverage event I hosted two weeks ago.
Or, maybe it has nothing to do with any of these. Maybe I’m just seeing this season in a different light this year. I don’t know.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. I have moments of stress-filled anxiety of still having much on my to-do list. Our house is not ready for hosting guests in five days. And, I still don’t have my shopping done… groceries or gifts. But, the all-consuming reality continues to greet me. And I ask myself, what really matters this Christmas?
What really matters this Christmas?
From experience I’ve learned whatever matters to me is what I focus on. If trying to create the perfect season is what matters, then I’ll go all out to do just that… and end up exhausted in the process. Does the perfect season even exist?
If buying to-die-for gifts for Bill or our kids is what matters, then I’ll put all my energy and time and money in the search for those gifts. I’ll drive myself crazy in the meantime. Is it really about the gifts anyway?
No, these things aren’t bad. But, I’ve been known to make them the most important and I’ve missed Christmas in the past altogether.
What matters to you this Christmas?
As I think about the question above, I can’t answer it for anyone else. I can only give my answer. What matters to me this Christmas is spending time with those I love. Because honestly, I have taken the special people in my life for granted this year. My family… especially my husband. My friends. My neighbors. My co-workers. You. Not intentionally, no. But, nevertheless, somehow I stopped appreciating the gifts God has given me through the people He’s brought in my life. What amazing gifts they (and you!) are!
It’s not what’s under the tree that matters, but who is around it.
What also matters to me is celebrating Jesus. Friend, without Him I’d be a bigger mess than I already am. Celebrating His birth brings me joy when there seems to be none, peace when it feels absent, and love when hate seems to be winning in this world. When I ponder all Jesus has done for me, I can’t help but respond with wonder and awe.
Friend, I invite you to take time to answer the question.
What matters to you this Christmas? If I could encourage you… don’t let the hustle and bustle consume you. Be intentional in this next week of focusing on what truly matters to you. Celebrate the birth of our Savior and allow the baby born in a manger to fill you with hope, wonder, and awe.
Thank you for your presence in my life. You are important to me. Merry Christmas, friend!
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Funny how you write just what I need when I need it! Although I’m reading it a little late! I got behind. Anyway, I looked at Christmas differently this year, too. For the past three years we’ve been celebrating Christmas on New Years. With the addition of in-laws to my children’s lives and now two little grandsons, we aren’t gathering around our tree on Christmas Day anymore. And for those three years I’ve done everything I can to ignore Christmas Day. I’d pretend it was just any other day because not having my family with me made me so very sad and lonely. This year however, I focused more on the true meaning of Christmas and began to feel my heart open to the idea of celebrating the day in a new way with new traditions for my husband and I and to be grateful I’m able to welcome my family whenever they can come! I’m thankful for this change and I thank God for moving in me to help me see what’s really important! I am grateful for you and your wisdom Julie! I sure wish we lived closer together! Happy New Year!
Cindy, our Christmases have changed over the years as our children have gotten older. Now that our daughter is married, I see our Christmases in the future possibly changing again. I feel your past pain of the sad and lonely parts when family can’t be with you as in the past. But, praise God, you looked at it differently this year! I may need your wisdom in future years to remind me of what really matters during the Christmas season. I’m so glad you shared this here! I hope your holidays were amazing in every way. I, too, wish we lived closer! Hopefully one of these days we’ll get to meet up in real life!