Our Christmas decorations have been up for about a week now.
I know a lot of people like to wait until after Thanksgiving to decorate but for me, I believe the earlier, the better. There is just something so magical about Christmas. I can’t get enough of the warm glow being cast by the twinkle lights as I walk around my house in the evenings. I love the cheer, the tradition, and watching my girls experience all of these things.
Every year I pride myself in hand-making our girls’ Christmas outfits. I love to sew; for me it is fun to find the fabric, and spend a few hours handcrafting outfits. I am sure in twenty years they will pull out the pictures and squeal, “MOM! How could you have dressed us that way?!” but it brings me joy, so I do it.
This year is a bit different.
The lights seem to twinkle less brightly. And the warm glow from them seems no more than a nightlight as I mindlessly navigate putting wee ones back to bed multiple times throughout the night.
We are coming out of months upon months of craziness. Truly, it has been since April; that’s almost 8 months. We have faced a very ill child, selling our house and moving across town, a new job, a crazy busy season at said new job, and some relational stress with our family. All of those things combined with our normal crazy of raising three young girls (5 and under, one with special needs and medical complexities) and both working full-time outside our home.
You get my point. It has been crazy.
And, if I am being honest, as I approach this holiday season it feels a little more like checking off my list than enjoying the magic it has to offer. And these handmade Christmas outfits are like dread looming over me. The thought of finding the time to escape and make them feels impossible and overwhelming. Even Christmas shopping, which I LOVE, feels overwhelming.
So what happens when our hearts are a little more wounded and wearier than usual during this cheery season?
For me, I am choosing to simplify.
I have steered away from Pinterest. We will set aside our typical baking, outfit-making and running around like mad to “Do” all the traditions we love. I searched out three gifts for each of our girls - and I mean searched in the technological way. I typed the words into a search bar on Amazon which were then delivered to our doorstep.
We even planned a vacation for ten days smack in the middle of December because we felt rest was the most important thing for us this season. Yes, we will miss the festivities at home, the Christmas programs and holiday parties.
This year for us, being away, being quiet, being together, resting and healing after this chaotic year was most important.
Heck - I even ordered a turkey from a local BBQ place to simplify Thanksgiving.
Truly, what my heart needs more than anything this year is peace. Healing. Rest. And when I truly consider my needs, I am led to a manger where a little babe lay wrapped in swaddling cloth. A savior king who came to earth to deliver me from these things.
When I take a minute to breathe in the gift of our savior, the rest melts away. And I can feel the glow from the one true light shining joy into this season without an ounce of striving from me.
Take some time to be still, my friends. Feel the glow of HIS light on your own face. No matter what your year has looked like, take a little time to rest in the good news of His coming.