For the past few years, I have tried to let go of more during Christmas time. It's so easy to fill up every day, all day with fun things in celebration of this time. Funny how despite my efforts to pare-down, the season keeps rolling by seemingly faster and faster. There are several traditions that I maintain and absolutely love to do in preparation for Christmas:
Christmas crafts with the boys
Baking cookies with little helpers
Putting up the Nativity scene
Open house Christmas party
Putting up a Christmas tree
Hanging our made-by-Grandma Christmas stockings
Sending out photo cards to loved-ones with a yearly letter
There are also things that have been loved tradition that I've had to be open to letting go if necessary--hanging outdoor lights, caroling, office parties, concerts, volunteer opportunities, and plays, to name a few. It changes from year to year. This was a year, however, when lots of things had to be let go. I've found it's increasingly important to guard my personal time, as well as our family time....all the time...but especially during special holidays. Sometimes this means saying "no" to some of the so-much-fun things, in exchange for some "nothing time". We need "nothing time" to enjoy the wonder and beauty of creation in winter--a clear, starry night, and crisp, fresh air. We need time for quiet reflection of God's gift to us in a little baby over 2000 years ago...to realize afresh that He is with us...to look forward with joyful expectation that He will return! We need time to listen to age-old carols sung by a choir...to enjoy candlelight flickering...to soak up God's Word. As much as I love and enjoy our other family Christmas traditions, we sorely miss out on the entire point if I neglect to schedule "nothing time". It can also become so busy that we are all celebrated out by the time Christmas Day actually arrives! That can be a real downer, and this year, I am working toward not allowing that to happen. I want to be purposeful about what we choose to do....take the time to do those things with the proper, God-ward perspective, and celebrate the season well.
The CREATOR of the universe's SON.
I love this painting. Look at the peace and rest...the reverence....the JOY. Two words blew me away this week: "God's son." I relate well to the concept of a son. Just think of it though--I mean really think about it--
GOD'S SON was given birth that He would save me from death. That was His purpose.
GOD'S SON will return to us. Take a little "nothing time" with me this season and soak that in.