It has been a while since I posted and I suppose, without intention, I have taken a little holiday blog break. While I don’t regret a break, I do miss writing, posting and connecting with readers and other bloggers….and wanted to make time to express my sincere wishes for a blessed Christmas to each of you. Five Minute Friday seems like a perfect time to not only catch up but also to send greetings through my Christmas thought.
Today’s prompt is birth:) So (before the timer begins) Merry Christmas, everyone. However you and your family celebrate the wonderful birth of our savior, I hope you enjoy and savor every minute! Remember not only the love displayed and the promises fulfilled when Jesus arrived in that manger, but also the hope that is ours because of His birth.
GO – I am an empty-nester, of sorts. My children are grown and my husband and I are no longer spring chickens. Many of my friends are in similar stages of life and I have heard many, if not most of them, express the idea of simplifying Christmas. I have said much the same thing. Everything seems to change as we progress through life’s seasons – which is to be expected and is natural.
Both the Christmas preparations and the actual celebrating have been simplified. We no longer get up before the sun on Christmas morning. I’m totally okay with that:) Gift opening does not last for hours – and I’m okay with that as well. We no longer trek to a Christmas tree farm and hunt for the perfect tree. Those were wonderful times but, these days, we have even forgone the fake tree that we tried for several years. Things change.
There is a sense of real peace and a fresh appreciation for the beauty of Christmas to enjoy with the changes. But God also challenged me this week – a bit of rebuke to my soul even – and the same thoughts came to my heart again as I considered the prompt today.
ONE – Simplifying traditions, gift-giving or decorating does not, in itself, make my Christmas holier. I’ve caught myself (as I’ve shared with an agreeing friend) saying “oh, we don’t have a tree” and somehow thinking we’ve managed a more meaningful Christmas. Just because we don’t put up a 7-foot tree. The true joy of Christmas is not found in a perfectly decorated tree. Nor is it found in the absence of a tree. The gifts, the traditions, the food, and even the memories are not the essence of Christmas. It is the birth of Jesus – come to earth in order to die for our sins. How quickly I can forget that…..
TWO – Truthfully, I am enjoying this season of Christmases. Enjoying the simplicity. The less is more attitude suits me. However, with my desire “for less” I don’t want to make Christmas “small.” Christmas is still Jesus. The hope of Heaven. Christmas is still full of joy and full of awe. I don’t want that to be minimized in my effort to “keep it simple.” I still want to make a big deal about His birth! I not only want to be awed by the wonder of Christmas but I want to reflect and share that wonder. With my family. My friends and with others. Yes, I want to be a light all year but also at Christmas. Especially at Christmas. I can do less balls and tinsel. I can put up a tree – and we just might next year – or not. I can do less baking and say no to overcommitting. But I don’t want to “do” less with Jesus.
I pray you will let the awe and wonder of Jesus born in manger fill your heart this season. Merry Christmas friends!!