baking, Christmas, Engagements, family, friends, gifts, Jesus, New Years Resolutions, Snuggies

Next Year’s Christmas: What will you do differently?

The Cotton Exchange, downtown Wilmington, NC

This Christmas season seemed to be extra crazy.

I heard myself saying with my outside voice,  “I am so ready for Christmas to get here so I can be done!” As soon as the words rolled out of my mouth I desperately wanted to rewind them back.  I was horrified by my outburst, as astonished as the sweet young woman at my church who was the recipient of my drive by shooting. A few minutes later I had an opportunity to apologize. She quickly denied the need for my regret, but the regret was there.

I knew, and she seemed to imply, that one day she will understand my frustration. This Christmas she  is sporting an engagement ring…she is walking on clouds. The craziness of buying gifts for all the children, cousins, family and extended plus all of the traditions one feels she must continue is not part of my friend’s Christmas yet, but one day it may be.

My friend Marsha’s amazing gingerbread men!

One day she may feel she has to bake pumpkin bread every night of the week to give away to the neighbors and her hair stylist. She might feel the responsibility of transforming her home into a Cozy Christmas Cottage and plan a special breakfast and dinner plus sweets for the family to eat all week long.

She might hear herself asking,”Is there one more present I need to buy? One more gift to mail? Do I have all the ingredients I need for a Christmas meal? Can I find a store that has not sold out of Snuggies?”

But I hope she never does. I pray she will keep it simple.

Next year I will.

Because it’s not about the gifts or decorations or pumpkin bread..

The nativity village my mom gave me.

It’s not even about family. On Christmas Eve as I missed my mom and sister desperately, I realized that family is what Christmas is all about to me. I soaked every bit of my Christmas day with my clan of five. But Christmas is really only about God With Us, Immanuel. Jesus. Without Him there would be nothing to celebrate.

I guess I’m starting my New Year resolutions early.

Next year we’re drawing names.

How about you? What will you do differently next year at Christmas to try to place the focus back on Christ?

Much grace,

…For to us a child is born, to us a son is given. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6).


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