Hello everyone! This article was first posted five years ago, but I wanted to share it again with you today! Christmas is just around the corner and Katie, Becca and Connor are coming home for the holidays this week. I want to have lots of time to spend with them, so I’m going to be posting some of my favourite Christmas columns from the past this week so you’ll still get fresh content but I’ll have more time to spend with family. Enjoy!
When I was in Canadian Tire a while ago I saw an absolutely stunning Christmas tree.
It was decorated in silver bows and balls with purple accents. It was my tree.
Such a tree, however, will never grace my living room. No matter how much I want a purple and silver one, I have too many other decorations that render a consistent colour scheme impossible. I have a family Christmas tree.
First comes the gold heart embossed with “Keith and Sheila, 1991” that we received at our wedding. Then there are all the Christmas decorations we made as children which our parents thoughtfully gave us our first Christmas together (were they trying to get rid of them, I wonder?). There’s the canvas stitched candy cane Keith made, and the decorated styrofoam balls I did. Other decorations full of childhood memories hang beside them, like the angel candle holders that were on my Baby Jesus birthday cake when I was six.
And now, of course, we have added our children’s decorations.
At first they were fairly innocuous ones, like “Baby’s First Christmas”. They have since become more ambitious. One year the girls and I made dough Christmas shapes and then glued little pictures to them. Katie, who is living proof that you can survive your second year of life eating only dried play dough (believe me, it wasn’t my choice), actually left nibble marks in some as she tried to eat them, too, despite the salt content. Add the decorations the girls make at Sunday school out of little paper doilies, and there’s no room for those classy purple balls.
Our lives are very much like these Christmas trees.
We spend so much effort trying to have the perfectly decorated life, with the right kids, the right jobs, and the right promotions. But it can be exhausting to live that way. Our work is never done. We’re always on the go, and when we do sit down it’s only to plan how to drive our kids to more lessons, run some more errands or throw on yet another load of laundry before we make dinner.
The family Christmas tree, with all its imperfections, is better because it is uniquely us.
Anybody can have a perfectly purple Christmas tree. Not everyone can have the one decorated with your own white doily angels and pipe cleaner reindeer. Christmas anchors us and reminds us of whose we are and of what’s important.
A sign I saw at Majestic Dry Cleaners recently read, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there”. Many of us are stuck on some sideroad of endless errands and work because we need a road map to get us home, a map that can only come by slowing down and reflecting, if just for a little while. With the busyness of life, we often ignore our spiritual side, never taking time to think about life, death, parenting or our purpose on this earth. Christmas can be our roadmap, a time to take stock of our lives and consider if we’re heading in the right direction.
Whatever your spiritual background is, the challenge is the same: let’s take the time during the holidays to honour it.
At my house this week, we’ll have a “Baby Jesus Birthday Cake” (chocolate, of course), to remind us that Christmas is when the all-powerful God became as helpless as a baby so he could live among us and die for us, so we could live forever with him. I don’t want that just to be my Christmas message; I want to live it through the rest of the year. But if I don’t take the chance now to see whether my daily life reflects my spiritual priorities, I may not have time once the daily grind starts anew.
I will gladly take my Baby Jesus birthday cake angels and little dough hearts over purple balls any day. That’s who I am, and who I want to be. Christmas is one of the few times of year when we can contemplate life without someone telling us to move on to the next task. Let’s make sure that this year, we take advantage of the opportunity.
Merry Christmas, everybody!
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Family is an important thing to celebrate during the Christmas holiday. Spend time with your kids and husband, make every moment count–whether it is reminding your kids how much you love them or spending a little extra intimate time with your hubby.
#1 Post on the Blog: Christmas Letter To An Adult Child
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Merry Christmas, Everybody!
I’m so enjoying my kids being home! But I want to wish you all an incredibly happy and warm Christmas with your families.May the peace that Jesus brings emanate through your family, and may you feel close to your husband and enjoy him this Christmas season.