Now that I'm the mom, anxiety is competing against that childhood excitement. Did I get all the presents, is the menu ready for Christmas dinner, is the house clean enough for company? On and on the list goes and it seems like I"m running out of time. It's almost enough to put me in panic mode!
I've allowed this attitude in years past to get the best of me. The day after Christmas has come with me wondering "what happened to Christmas?" With the busyness of things to do, I missed the magic of the moment.
Years ago on the first Christmas, others 'missed it' too. The city of Bethlehem slept, King Herod was jealous and fearful of being uprooted as king and the religious leaders of the day were filled with unbelief and busy about keeping the letter of the law. In our day, some of these same attitudes can try to steal Christmas from us - ignorance, competition, jealousy, covetness and fear. We can question ourselves - Are we good enough when compared to so and so? How do my gifts/decorations/cooking compare to someone elses? While we plod on trying to 'get it right' we often let slip the importance of Christmas.
The ones who actually did 'get it' that first Christmas were people like the shepherds, the Wise Men, the widow Ana and Simeon. Those who were simple in heart and life but keeping their eyes and heart open to the Lord and the His splendor. They were watching and waiting on God's promises to be fulfilled...and they saw it come to pass!
This week, may we be encouraged to slow down, be watchful and enjoy the simple sights of Christmas. Sitting in front of a fire with the family, hot cocoa, Christmas lights, sharing the Christmas story and keeping our heart renewed with a thankfulness for God's Greatest Gift - His Son. As we are going and doing, may our hearts and eyes be open and alert to His blessings this special time of the year. May His love and grace be received into our hearts and then flow out to share with others. That's spreading true Christmas cheer!
"Then let us all with one accord sing praises to our heavenly Lord;
Who hath made heav'n and earth of naught, and with His blood, mankind hath bought."
The First Nowell