Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Guilt

I'm sitting here three days before Christmas feeling like an epic fail.  In the few precious moments I've spent on the computer in this most holy of seasons, I've read many inspiring articles, posts and reminders, watched cute nativity movies on Youtube and listened to beautiful Christmas music composed solely to worship Him.  All the family traditions we typically practice like Advent, Jesse Tree, reading stories about the nativity, etc. meant to focus on the Christ-child are traditions we love, but I haven't had the energy for this year. In my sleep-addled brain, I've lacked organizational skills, time and energy.  So what have I done instead?  Buy gifts.  That's easy for me.  In fact, giving gifts is one major way I show love to others (learn more about love languages).  Going online and punching a few keystrokes in order to purchase something that will be directly delivered to my door is the simplest, and most dangerous, way to shop for Christmas.  Now I sit here just feeling like I've delivered materialism to my children this year instead of Jesus.

I know, I know, I've got some great excuses.  I have a 6-month-old who's recently left behind colic and instead has taken up teething, who wakes every 2-3 hours to eat even in the middle of the night and who asks to be constantly held so even performing the most mundane household tasks becomes a practice in balance and strategy.  However my husband was put in charge of gift buying this year so he chose everything online and then had me complete the purchasing.  So why did I feel the need to also buy some, there and everywhere?  Sure, we could blame it on my love language.  OR [cringing] on my natural materialistic tendencies that surface oh-so-easily when I'm not spiritually connected to my Savior. (You don't know how many times I had to rewrite that until sentence by sentence I narrowed it down to the painful truth.)

Of course, I could come up with a hundred reasons why I'm not connecting to God in this season of my life as well, but really, the truth of the matter is that I need to be connecting even more to God in this stage of life.  In fact, I should be clinging to Him desperately as I sleepily answer the cries of my hungry babe in the middle of the night or make my continuous rounds through the house always carrying, always rocking the baby or skip another hot meal to tend to the needs of the baby.  And I need to remember that besides my own baby, there's another greater one that was born more than 2000 years ago.

So with most of the presents already wrapped (thanks to my daughter!) and about to go under the tree, it's a bit late to be changing my tune with how we celebrate Christmas.  But just as an out-of-shape person finally hits bottom and decides at that point to diet and exercise, I've hit bottom and want to make our out-of-shape Christmas fit again.  Fit for a King!  After reading this post called The Christmas Conundrum, I'm very serious about using some of her "drastic" measures to get our focus back to where it belongs - on Christ.  I especially love her gift-giving policy for each of her kids: "Something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read.  That's it. (This year we are adding something to give...)"  So it may be a little early in making resolutions, but my hope is that by this time next year, our house will be filled with not regret but joy and not with tons of gifts but a focus on the One Gift.  

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