Sadly, this is how so many people respond to Christmas. This looming holiday that threatens to overwhelm and destroy...instead of uplift and uphold. We know what "it's about", yet somehow satan comes in and steals it away and instead of an anticipated, hallelujah chorus and an "It's coming!" We hear the Dum dum dum...and groan "it's coming."
This year I am determined to try and treat it like a hallelujah chorus. Turn greed to giving. Turn overindulgence to indulging others. Turn hording to sharing and turn our eyes and hearts to Jesus. Sounds charming. Doesn't it?
Reality check. I can only control myself. And so...I revise: I am at least determined to try and keep a Christ like attitude in my heart and be intentional with these lessons.
I have been given ideas from preschool, Sunday school and if you look at pinterest, well, it's an explosion of Christmas ideas. I'll tell you what, from experience, pinterest ideas often look far better on pinterest. Did any other mom yell at their kids that they were making the "Thankful tree" wrong? (Not me of course...never.) But the pinterest pictures paint it all lovely...I am sure it was nothing but sunshine and joy! It completely overwhelms me and I sit back unmotivated and dejected that somehow I am failing my children because I am not have tons of patience for crafts with kids, I don't have enough money to buy every grocery bagger, mail person, garbage man, and salvation bell army ringer a gift card, and I do not have the time to do something everyday until Christmas.
However, I do have some craftiness in me, I do have some money, and I do have some time. I have made a little calendar of things we are doing. Our advent calendar this year is both giving and getting. Sometimes they get a gift, sometimes they get a note of what we are going to do to bless others. I even made a little grocery list to have the items ready and looked at the calendar to make the time to do these things, instead of squeezing them in, like an obligatory good deed.
Intentional...that's my word this Christmas. I am going to be intentional. And I am going to pray. I am going to pray for patience, dilegence and understanding when my kids don't respond the way I want, when messes are made, when cookies don't rise, when crafts are ugly, when candy canes are broken, when money runs out. I am going to pray when lessons go awry, when time slips away and when attitudes are not what I would hope for. When my child falls apart, pees their pants or whines about wanting the candy we are going to give away. I am going to pray that I stop to enjoy this time with my children and bask in the gift of them. I am going to pray that my heart lives out the lessons I am trying to teach.
Mostly, I am going to pray that in all of it, my kids hearts and my heart get closer to understanding the miracle of Jesus' birth and His road to the cross. Because as I think of the lessons I want to teach my kids, I realize I have a lot to learn! IT'S COMING......!