Merry {not crazy, busy and stressed} Christmas!

Every year about this time, it happens to me. I get completely overwhelmed. Shopping, wrapping, Christmas parties, teacher gifts, Christmas cards, decorating, baking … the list goes on. Ugh, I want to lock myself in the closet!

Then, the guilt sets in. When did I become so materialistic? Why do I allow myself to get caught up in all the craziness? I have to reorganize my thoughts and remember the importance of the birth, the precious baby who changed the world forever. The peace, love, joy and hope that only He brings. I have to stop and be still.

I have a tradition to help me focus on this truth. (I need a visual reminder so I won’t get sucked back in to the busyness.) I print the following words and post them on my fridge. I’ve been doing this for several years now. The author, Sharon Jaynes, was gracious enough to give me permission to share the following excerpt from her book, Celebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas.

I hope and pray it blesses you as much as it does me.

Author: Sharon Jaynes
Taken from the book, Celebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas

“If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows,
strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls,
but do not show love to my family,
I’m just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen,
baking dozens of Christmas cookies,
preparing gourmet meals
and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime,
but do not show love to my family,
I’m just another cook.

If I work at a soup kitchen,
carol in the nursing home,
and give all that I have to charity,
but do not show love to my family,
it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels
and crocheted snowflakes,
attend a myriad of holiday parties
and sing in the choir’s cantata,
but do not focus on Christ,
I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the spouse.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love does not envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love does not yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love does not give only to those who are able to give in return; but rejoices in giving to those who cannot.

Love bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things, and
endures all things.
Love never fails.
Video games will break,
pearl necklaces will be lost,
golf clubs will rust;
but giving the gift of love will endure.”

Thank you, Sharon Jaynes, for those amazing words!

With that, I’m taking a break from my blog to enjoy this season and love my sweet family. I’ll be back to blogging next year. Hope you and yours have a Merry CHRISTmas!!