When my kids were little, they would “practice” Christmas morning. It was the sweetest thing to watch.
They would come up with “what-if” scenarios, then practice their solution to each.
~what if Michael wakes up first…
~what if Andrea wakes up first…
~what if Jessica WON’T wake up…
~what if Kathryn sneaks downstairs…
~what if it’s too early…
Then they would act out their solutions. Michael would go in to wake the girls, Andrea would wake Michael, all of them would jump on Jessica, Kat would be strictly admonished to stay upstairs until given permission, and if it was too early they would tell mom and dad they had to go to the bathroom and couldn’t wait any longer.
Funny thing is, all that practicing for the perfect Christmas went right out the window once that day arrived. The excitement made all the perfect planning and good ideas disappear, but that was alright. They will forever hold memories in their heart of running downstairs in complete chaos on Christmas morning and in their eyes, it was always perfect.
It seems like so many Christmas movies revolve around someone trying to pull off the perfect Christmas, and utterly failing in one way or another. Apparently this is a hot topic during the holidays. As I look back on my little family and all the Christmases we have shared, I realize that too often I have fallen prey to practicing the perfect Christmas myself. My goal to make everyone happy ended in me being miserable at times, because my focus was misconstrued.
I have come to the Christmas conclusion that you will never make everyone happy and~
only Jesus can give the gift of true happiness.
I certainly am not Jesus.
Year after year I got caught up in striving to make things perfect for everyone, and ended up taking my focus off of Him. Instead, my focus was placed solely on others. I found myself in tears last year because I was afraid that Christmas wouldn’t be special enough for my kids.
That old saying~’practice makes perfect’ doesn’t always hold true. 35 years of practicing and planning to make the perfect Christmas for my children, and in my eyes I have yet to perfect it.
Now that my kids are adults, they are no longer oblivious to the amount of work that sometimes goes into the perfecting of the perfect Christmas, and they are fully aware of the stress it can bring IF your focus isn’t on the entire reason for celebrating. Last year my girls bore witness to my little breakdown of emotions over my felt failures and they didn’t like it, because they now wish for ME to experience (and not just provide) the perfect Christmas as well.
So what is the key to the perfect Christmas if it isn’t in the practice? The key is the peace that passes all understanding. My words might seem counterintuitive but when pleasing others becomes more important than pleasing Christ~we have no peace. Aren’t we always told to focus on others and not ourselves? Yes, we certainly should. I’m not saying that focusing on others is wrong, I’m saying that if that is our only focus, Jesus will become an afterthought.
The words to the song Silent Night hold so many truths we need to grasp when December comes around…
All is calm.
All is bright.
Holy infant so tender and mild.
Sleep in heavenly peace.
When we keep our eyes on Jesus and remember that He is the ONLY reason we celebrate the season, things will change. Christmas might be chaotic, all the perfect planning and good ideas might go right out the window, but that’s alright. Our hearts will hold the peace that passes understanding...
All will be calm.
All will be bright.
All because of the Holy Infant born for us.
And we will forever hold memories in our hearts of what a truly perfect Christmas is all about.