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.