Laresa Watkins

21/31 Days

Oct 21, 2017
mommyinbonlee

So, I went into a store today to exchange some pants that were too big for Charlie.  We were on our way to a Halloween party.  Let me say that again: a HALLOWEEN party…and they had Christmas music playing in the store.  I am already excited for Christmas this year, but I do want to enjoy Halloween and Thanksgiving first.  I’m really trying not to rush it, so I would appreciate it if the stores would hold off a few more weeks on the Christmas music!

I was looking back through the drafts of things I have written, and found this from last December. It was a good reminder to me of what I want not just Christmas to be like, but every season and really every day. 

 

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“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”
― Laura Ingalls Wilder

This time of year, I have to be careful.  It is so easy for me, with my type-A-just-get-it-done personality, to zip through the season without enjoying a minute of it.  Before I know it Christmas is over, the house is left feeling empty without the tree and the lights, and it’s somehow January.

I have to intentionally enjoy Christmas.

This year, I’m doing a few things differently than in the past.

First of all, I am not stressing about our decorations.  It was SUCH a pleasure to decorate our tree this year, because Maddie (whose servant-heart is coming out more and more each day) decorated it.  She unwrapped each ornament, showed it to me and asked where it came from, then hung it on the tree.  I did move some of the breakable ones from their precarious positions, but other than that I just enjoyed her help.  After staring at the decorated tree for awhile, I decided that our tree, its bottom branches hanging heavily with ornaments, is perfect.  The memory of her decorating it is one I will hang onto for awhile.

On the table where I usually put my Christmas Village sits Martin’s house that the kids made out of Lego Duplos.  Martin is our elf, and he loves his house.  Normally, I would not allow a giant Lego house to sit out for weeks, but I am letting it go because it is such a hoot to see the kids run to the house every morning to check for Martin.  He’s not always there, but it’s the first place they look.

I am also making an effort to turn my obligations into opportunities.  This sounds so cliche, but it’s been important to me this year.  I found myself stressed out about the holiday get-togethers, the food for the parties, the presents.  I felt like I was going to the grocery store every day, spending too much money for no reason.  Then, a friend of mine on Instagram posted a picture of her full shopping cart, saying she was buying for a baby shower, a Sunday School party, a women’s ministry meeting, and more.  I thought, “Ugh!  Poor girl!” But reading on, I saw that she was so happy to have that shopping cart full of items.  She felt blessed to have those opportunities to minister to people.

…So this was me:

And what happened, then? Well, in Whoville they say – that the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day. And then – the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of ten Grinches, plus two!

Now, when I have to run in the store one more time or buy one more present for something, I see them as chances to spread a little of Jesus’ love.  The entire reason for this season is to celebrate Jesus’ birth, and if I don’t take every opportunity to show his love to people, I am missing out.

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