Changing the subject . . .
Things were getting a little weird there, so we’re going to move on to a new topic. In keeping with the Christmas season, I’m curious to know how you all spend your holiday. Do you like the way you spend your day(s), or are there things you’d like to change? I’ll get us started . . .
The Spiritual Side of Christmas . . .
I love Christmas — well, I love certain things about Christmas. I love the things we’re supposed to love about Christmas, for sure! God gave us the most awesome Christmas gift in the birth of his precious Son. And something that recently occurred to me is that Jesus’ earthly family carried that forward, in being obedient to God’s plan and letting Jesus carry out that plan. I suppose their flesh could have interfered, could have made it more difficult for Him to minister to the lost.
Of course, I have no scripture to back this up, but think about how parents try to influence their children’s choices, to either live vicariously through their children, or keep their children close to home. Don’t you think Joseph wanted Jesus to “carry on the family business” or Mary might have thought, “wouldn’t it be nice for my son to marry, have children, and grow old in the house down the road?” Don’t you think that those thoughts may have crossed their minds once or twice? They were human, after all.
But the amazing thing is, God knew who on this earth would be obedient to His plan. He chose Mary and Joseph to be the earthly parents of Jesus because He knew they would raise Jesus in a Godly home and respect the divine plan He’d written for our salvation. So in a way, their obedience is a gift to us, too.
It’s an example to all of us who have children — to raise our children to follow the Lord and then get out of the way, so that they can recognize His will for their lives, not ours. Frightening, and yet liberating, because as long as our children follow the Lord, we really have nothing to fear. His perfect will results in perfect peace. My Christmas wish for you is that you find His perfect will for your life, and thus His perfect peace . . .
The Ho-Ho-Ho Side of Christmas . . .
I love the decorations! I have my “kitchen sink tree” that has everything but hanging from its branches. I look at my tree like a scrapbook of memories that we pull out each year. Just about every ornament on it has a special memory, a special significance for one or more of us. There are the little Madame Alexander ornaments that my mom started buying for Jami her first Christmas. And my “Scarlet O’Hara” ornaments (GWTW is my favorite book). The seashell ornament my sister made from tiny, tiny shells she collected on the shores of the Sea of Galilea when she visited Israel. Many goofy ornaments that remind me of AJ (Santa on a surfboard, a mouse with cheese [he loves cheese], the crawfish wishing us all a “Merry Christmas”) . . .
The most special ornaments of all are the ones that AJ makes from wood he saves from the trunk of our tree each year. He’s done this every year since we’ve been married, and he always does something that symbolizes the three of us . . . three hearts, three stars, a little wooden book with our three names engraved in it . . . a most awesome tradition . . .
The Hum-Hum-Humbug Side of Christmas . . .
While AJ and I’ve been married almost 13 years (and it’s our first and only marriage), we have several folks in the family who’ve been down the aisle more than once. Needless to say, we have an EXTENDED family! And each family requests our presence at their home at some point during Christmas. Here’s our schedule beginning tomorrow:
December 23: Christmas with AJ’s mom, step-dad, sister, etc. (100 miles round-trip)
December 24: Christmas Eve with AJ’s “adopted” family, Leo and Diann (120 miles round-trip)
December 25: Christmas Morning at home; Christmas Evening with AJ’s dad, step-mom, sister, etc. (120 miles round-trip)
December 26: Christmas with Laura’s mom, sister, etc. (80 miles round-trip)
December 27: Christmas with Laura’s aunt, uncle, etc. (100 miles round-trip)
If I’ve added that all together right, it’s over 500 miles driving in five days. Sheesh!
Now, I love all these people. I really do. But I’m really tired of doing this every year. Some of you might say, “Why don’t you stay over at one of their houses and go on to the next stop the next day?” It seems simple enough, but the fact is — who wants to live out of a suitcase for four or five days, stopping at different houses along the way?
It’s tiring and because we are at so many places over the holiday, NO ONE ever comes to our house, because we’re never home. The only reason I put up a Christmas tree is because AJ and Jami would miss it and because it would depress me even more not to have one. But it is a lot of work considering how much we’re gone the main days of the month.
Does anyone have any suggestions? I’m listening!!!
2 thoughts on “”
We only have two Christmas get-togethers. Christmas Eve traditionally is at my in-laws. They aren’t Christians, so it’s all Santa, Egg Nog, and a gazillion toys for the children. We’ve asked my wife’s family to keep it more simple – maybe one gift or two. But, ours are the only grandchildren except one other grandson who is 2 so Grandma and Grandpa always go overboard. Usually, we go to church on Christmas Eve for worship before going to my in-laws, but this year we’ve had to pass because of the new baby.
Christmas morning, we usually wake up, have a Bible time / worship time as a family. We sing “Happy Birthday Jesus” and later have cake. Then, we let them open their presents. We generally try to just relax and enjoy the day together with our children. At some point in the evening, we usually go to my parents’ house for Christmas dinner. If there are more presents to exchange, they are usually done then. My brothers and sister and I love to watch old, Christmasy movies after dinner, but we usually end up falling asleep.
As for all your driving and celebrating, my only advice is as long as you and your husband and daughter can enjoy Christmas in the midst of all the chaos, put on a smile and be thankful it comes only once a year. If it’s actually causing you stress or souring your celebration, I’d have a heart-to-heart with your husband and let him know how you feel. I’m sure he’ll understand that family is family and it’s nice to have a large family, but your HOME and your household are your primary priorities.
My only advise is that you do what you want to do. No one can force you to do anything against your will.
I suspect that Mary and Joseph encouraged Jesus in what God had planned for him. They were inbued with a special nature of spiritual obedience.