Weighed down with Christmas expectations

blogDSCN8399I’m back in the saddle again (or should I say back on my sleigh?), recovering from the flu/cold bug that forced me to rest.  And I’m still on my determined quest to make this Christmas simple.

Where did we get this insane idea that our Christmas celebration has to be perfect?  Perfectly decorated. Perfectly gifted.  Perfectly baked and cooked.  Perfectly wrapped.  Perfectly full of overabundance. 

We load ourselves down with expectations for holiday perfection until we are fretful and frazzled, weary and worn, and exhausted instead of exhilarated.  We spend too much time and effort on the unrealistic expectations when we should focus on the expected One.

We wait, usually impatiently and irritated, in long lines at the checkout stand.  In long lines at the post office.  In long lines at the gift wrapping counter of our favorite department store.  In lanes of traffic jammed with cars heading to the nearest shopping mall.

And yet, we don’t take time to wait for the anticipated One.  The One we light the Advent candles for.  The One who is the reason for the season.  The One whose name the holiday bears.

We search for just the perfect Christmas card, write the perfect Christmas letter to enclose within, all in the name of sending good cheer to our friends, families, and neighbors.  But reality is that we’re anything but cheerful.  Anything but merry.  Anything but sincerely sending warm wishes to anyone.

Our mode of operation is to overload on the material things of this world which will not fill the empty holes in our hearts.  Will not bring us happiness.  Will not spread good will.  Will not envelope our hearts with love.

Only one thing can do that – completely fill our hearts and souls with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and goodness.  All those things we gush about at Christmas time yet don’t put into practice.  We can utter the words, we can have good intentions, we can attempt to craft the perfect Christmas but until we make Christmas simple, we will fall short every time.

And the simplicity of Christmas is this:  “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” ~ Isaiah 9:6

So when the frenzy of the season wears us down, when Christmas weighs on us like a chore not a celebration,  when we focus on the things of this world and their glitter and glitz,  we’ve forgotten that One truly perfect expectation.  That’s when I need to set my mind on the Expected One.  That’s my wish for a simple Christmas.  Simply full of Jesus.  

 ©2013 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

 

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12 responses

  1. Such a whimsical photo to balance the thoughtful reflection. Update btw:
    I’m breathing a bit easier now…I should have known…I’ve lived long enough to know that things just shake out. So young realtor (younger than me and a few years older than D2) called yesterday to say, “There’s going to be a lot of people out of town this weekend. Would Jan 4,5 be a better date for the Open House?” Oh my! Something way down deep told me to title my post “Don’t Get Frantic”. Yes, keep things simple and please don’t add to the craziness.

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    • Whew! I’m breathing easier FOR you! You know, I find the same, things do have a way of shaking out if we just don’t give in to the panic. Maybe it’s just that we learn to become much more mellow as we…ahem…age? ;-) Anyway, I am so relieved for you. And yes, I thought the photo did balance my serious post with a bit of whimsy. Our cat just looked a bit “worn down” and when I placed the stocking on her, she didn’t even move, just looked burdened. The picture actually inspired my post!

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  2. Cindy, I needed this post today! Thank you so much for your thoughtful reflections on the true meaning of Christmas. My husband was reminding me of the very same things last night, as I was fretting over gifts to wrap and people to please… I enjoyed your quiet urge to step back and appreciate the joy.

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    • Melissa, it’s so very good to hear from you! I’ve been wondering how you & your family have been doing. Sending you big hugs and special wishes for a beautiful Christmas. May God bless you & yours in a mighty way in the New Year too!

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  3. Love the kitten photo. We had a blessed and quiet christmas , and I’m enjoying a few more calm days before tutoring resumes. The bro in law and bride come for a visit in early February . I’m gradually gaining strength and peace.

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