When we started working toward Christmas in a celebration of the amazing gift that God has given us, we looked for what was already out there. While the Advent candle is a lovely tradition and fairly simple to do (because of the supplies needed and the frequency of the celebration), it was not enough for me.
I am easily distracted and I am a sentimental fool
There are so many aspects of Christmas that can be focused on.
- Holiday Parties.
- Family get togethers, Norman Rockwell style.
- Heartwarming Hallmark movies.
- The Nutcracker Ballet
- Christmas with the Rockettes
- Polar Express Train Ride
- Taking my children to visit Santa.
- Silver Dollar City at Christmas
- Maybe even DISNEYWORLD at Christmas
Fun fun fun fun!!!!
I love all this stuff. And probably more than this if I would allow myself to think about it.
And if you have followed this blog, which is messy and needs to be overhauled (and may NEVER be, because I am not a "finisher") you know that these are not the activities I have put forward for my family for Christmas.
Christmas is about Jesus. That wonderful gift that God gave the world, so that even though we do not deserve it, we can be transformed from wretched sinners, bound for an eternal existence of fearful suffering apart from the Creator of the Universe into His blessed children who can live a life guided by Him right now! We are bound for an eternal existence that is more than we can imagine, surrounded by those we love (who have also repented of a life of sin and dependence on self and accepted this wondrous gift) AND most of all, forever with Him!
When I think about all the trappings of Christmas that are available here, and the fact that SOME of these we do not ever choose to do, because by the time we would do them (December 26-January 1) they are over, it makes me a little wistful...
But when I think about what I believe and try to represent to my family as the true meaning of the day...the season...my heart is filled to overflowing.
At this point, I must be clear: This has nothing to do with simplifying Christmas. My goal is the opposite. I want to create the biggest blowout that I can, within the parameters of real life. I want to create a mini holiday, if not every day, most days in December. I want my family to love celebrating the coming of Jesus so much that, while we DO participate in many of the "regular " Christmas activities (after Christmas), that part is somewhat of a let down...
As we have morphed our Advent season from year to year, it has become more and more personal to each one of us. As my children have "grown up" into all the activities of high school, heading off to college, etc, in some ways, the whole thing has become easier. Originally, every day was a guessing game for them...now they pretty much know how it is going to go. They love it differently now...with anticipation for the various days...the tradition of it all. Leading to the biggest celebration of all...Christmas Day. And it has to be HUGE...as fun and jam packed as we can make it!
But not simplified. I am writing this post because I want to introduce this train of thought in light of the current trend of simplifying Christmas. On Christmas Day, whatever day that was, the Father had been planning it for a long time.
- All kinds of prophecies.
- The stars and planets aligning in such a way that the Star of Bethlehem was created at just the right time.
- The lineage of Jesus.
- Multiple angelic visits.
- Even kings/wise men from far away with extravagant gifts.
- And all of it written down so we could read about it.
This is not simple. It is amazing.
And I want to give it everything I can to make it an amazing celebration.
I want to give it my best every year...whatever that is...