This year for Christmas, I want you to do all the work and I will take all the credit.
Christmas lost some of its shine when I became the mother. Now I, too, was running the great Christmas Mother Marathon- in which I,the mother, do everything extra I would ever do in a year, in one month. And because it was in Christmas’ name, it has to be the best I can offer. My best decorating, gift giving, letter writing, party planning, discount shopping, community service, decorating, music making and baking. And do it with a smile & good cheer. Balance it with simplicity, generosity, and spirituality. Maintain the magic of Christmas morning but don’t give so much that you create materialism or entitlement. Contemplate giving water in Africa instead of stocking stuffers. Try getting it done before Thanksgiving. Don’t forget anyone. Above all don’t forget the reason of the season.
Right. If I wanted to celebrate Jesus’ birth, I would spend a sunny winter afternoon singing, dancing in the snow and sprinkling birdseed for the wild animals. Then I would go inside and kiss each one of my children and fix them hot chocolate. That’s it. Merry Christmas.
Then last year as I hobbled around cleaning up our post Christmas mess, I was evaluating my performance. I felt guilty. Although I had done everything I needed to, I hadn’t taken much time for the quiet spirituality that should be the hallmark of the season. I thought of everyone I had baked for, sung to, written to, bought gifts for, invited over and fed. I had over extended myself and I was relieved Christmas was over. I had probably failed the Christmas test by failing to simplify. The sun was shining through the windows. The light and the Spirit filled my heart and whispered those familiar words, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these, ye have done it unto me”.
Those words filled my heart with peace. I had worked so hard and He had accepted my good intentions as a gift for Him after all.