I was thinking today about how Christmas got so complicated. I used to love reading the Laura Ingalls WIlder books. I remember the Christmases they celebrated. The children would get something sweet, that was rare since sugar was so expensive. They might get a toy. And they would get an orange. Charles and Caroline were not up until 2am putting together toys to be found under the tree.
I am sure that Caroline spent many hours cooking and preparing for the meal they enjoyed, so that would be no different today other than the fact we won’t pluck the feathers out of the turkey ourselves.
Christmas time is so busy! We have had a Christmas event every night this week. The girls are studying for exams. We are all feeling pretty stressed. I haven’t bought but one Christmas present. That is beginning to make me a bit concerned. Yet, that is not what Christmas is about.
Jesus tells us to be the opposite of stressed in the Gospel of John. He says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” In Matthew, Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” In Luke when Jesus is talking to Martha about being so busy and then being angry with her sister about not helping he says this, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. ”
So, this Christmas season, let’s focus on what is necessary. Food when people are visiting is necessary, but do we have to half-kill ourselves to make the meal perfect? Would having homemade pizza on Christmas be such a crime? Could we cut down on all the trappings and just enjoy time with friends and family? Can we let go of perfect?
And what about others? Could we focus on them some this season? There have been thousands of people touched by tragedy and war across the globe. Could we focus some of our Christmas spending on something that might help someone else?
What is our worship and devotional life looking like this Christmas season? Are we focusing on the Bible and the reason for the season? Or are we too exhausted from all the stuff we have to do?
Let’s decide to make Christmas less complicated and more simple this year. Let’s enjoy Christmas!