It’s never really a surprise that Christmas is coming, is it? Halloween decorations are still tossed about the aisles of stores the week before trick or treaters collect their loot, while the halls have already been decked the next row over. Red and green begins to bleed into the orange and black before we even flip the calendar to November. Black Friday ads and catalogs flood mailboxes well over a month before we even think about Pilgrims and turkey. Kiddos are making wish lists and adults are rapidly filling up the pages of December with parties and concerts and plans for decorating.
Christmas morning is full of energy and enthusiasm at our house. I’m certain it looks similar to Christmas morning at your house this year or in years past. When I was young, my family gathered at the top of the stairs to pray together before dashing downstairs for the excitement of the morning. Such a simple, yet meaningful tradition was so helpful for us to focus our thoughts on Jesus on a day when it so quickly becomes about us. As Jon and I raise our own family now, we have continued and tweaked that tradition some. We huddle together at the top of the stairs and read the story of Jesus’ birth. We’ve progressed from an interactive version on the Kindle to listening to Daddy read from The Jesus Storybook Bible to hearing our kids read to us.
December was filled to the brim once again. Every year I determine to slow down. To soak up the season of Advent and treasure and ponder things in my heart as Mary did. But each year Christmas Eve arrives and I think, “Oh! It’s here! What happened?!” It’s as if I didn’t even know that December 25 was right around the corner. My heart hasn’t prepared much room for Him, I’m afraid. Despite my best intentions, I get pulled in many directions and my heart is anything but focused. The Lord, in His kindness, uses our family’s Christmas morning tradition as a gentle reminder to re-orient my soul to the journey I’m walking. A chance to stop and be still for a moment. He always offers these opportunities to us, but we so often miss them. How is God offering you a chance to be still today and reflect on who He is and what He’s done for you?