Unfortunately I was unable to publish a blog post over the holidays. I’m sure you all know how it goes. The holidays are an extremely busy time for everyone, we all scramble to get the perfect gifts, make the perfect food, and have the perfect parties. In some ways I also got caught up in all the festivities. However, in a way, the Christmas holidays didn’t feel like Christmas this year.
I’m not sure what it was about this holiday season. Maybe because it was because the holiday season seemed so short, maybe it was because I didn’t make it home until the 23rd, or maybe it was because our family didn’t exchange gifts this year, or maybe it was because my roommates and I had no decorations at all.
But why is it that not having decorations, or receiving gifts make the Christmas Holidays not seem like Christmas? I’ve heard it all before, Christmas isn’t about the decorations or the gifts, it’s about spending time with the people you love, and more importantly it’s a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. But we live in a world, and a society where the sole purpose of Christmas is to live lavishly. There are people that have so much debt after buying Christmas decorations that they have to take out loans in order to survive. Then there are others that buy a whole new set of Christmas decorations every year in order to have the best lights, and the most festive set up. Kids are obsessed with Santa, and they wait all year, and specifically all month to wake up and find thousands of dollars worth of prettily wrapped packages under their trees and in their stockings.
Why are we, myself included, so obsessed with Christmas? I honestly felt like this Christmas wasn’t a true Christmas, only because the decorations were minimal or non-existent, and I didn’t get the things I wanted to get on Christmas day. I was actually a little upset about this Christmas up until about a week ago.
I had to take some time to reflect on my feelings about this Christmas. No we didn’t have any decorations at my house, nor were there an over-abundance of decorations at my parents’ house, no I didn’t get extravagant gifts, no our family didn’t follow the traditions that we usually do as much this Christmas. But really? Are those the important things? Have I really become so wrapped up in this world that I was unable to recognize the blessings of the Christmas season?
The answer is yes. I was so focused on what I could get on Christmas, that I didn’t see what I got on Christmas. I got to spend quality time with my family, we ate together, read the bible together, watched T.V together, and played several long rounds of Dutch Blitz (sorry family that I’m so much better at the game than you all ;P). We as a family got to have a wonderful extended family Christmas dinner. We as a Church family got to celebrate the birth of our Savior by going to church (even though we grumbled about going to extra services). And looking back the holidays were not terrible at all, they were wonderful.
So what does this all mean? Well, I challenge you all to step back at Christmas. Maybe as mothers to stop worrying about making everything perfect, from food, to decorations, to gifts, and just enjoy the time with your families. As fathers, enjoy the days or even hours that you get to have as a break from work, to spend quality time with your family. And as children, remembering that Christmas is not all about the presents, even though the presents are so much fun, and not obsess over what you wanted as apposed to what you got. Just enjoy Christmas for what it truly is, a time when families can get together and celebrate Christ’s birth. Because that’s what it was for me this year, and it was perfect.