Another Christmas has come and gone. Last year, my son figured out the Santa secret. We spent Christmas night in tears, grieving a bit of his childhood. He promised to help create the magic for his sisters, and he did a terrific job with that! Although Mom failed miserably...
My heart wasn't in it this year. Don't get me wrong...I love Christmas. It's my favorite time of year! The lights, the music, the joy and laughter. I love every moment up to Christmas Eve, then I get super sad. Because I know the world will go back to normal on December 26th.
And because my heart wasn't in it, I dropped the ball on shopping. I was waiting for my vacation to kick in...but this year, it fell on the 21st, so there was not much time. So last night, as I tucked my boy into bed, I apologized for not having "more". He looked up at me with his big brown eyes and said, "Mom, we have plenty. There's lots of presents. We're happy." Those words made me cry. My expectations weren't fulfilled, and I was placing that onto him. When I found out his expectations were fulfilled, that took the pressure off.
There weren't lots of presents. I cap my kids at three each. (Okay, five, because I get them a separate Christmas Eve gift...usually pajamas...and a Santa gift.) We not only have Christmas, but we have birthdays, too. So this time of year is rough. And even though I promise myself every year that I'm going to save and budget for this time, it always falls through. And yet another fail...I bought only two presents for my boy. He's at that age where he doesn't really want toys, but he doesn't want clothes, either. I miscalculated what I had for him. I burst into tears, but he was forgiving and kind. What a good kid I have. (Kids. They are all amazing.)
So I'm trying to refocus and hold onto what Christmas is really about. I'm looking past the lights to see the Star of Bethlehem. I'm straining to hear the angels' voices beyond the songs. I'm trying to imagine the joy on the faces of the shepherds who learned the Savior of the world was born just up the road from them and the laughter they shared afterward, thinking about how it all came to be. And I'm finding contentment and peace to replace my sorrow and grief.
I gave myself the gift of another published book this year. And I spent a quiet morning updating and cleaning up my website while my kids played together and had tons of fun with the few things they got. And we're anticipating a trip together. Although there is joy and excitement in those things, none of them can match the beautiful gift of Jesus that we celebrate on this day. While Christmas Day may be over, Jesus is the gift that keeps on giving. His grace, mercy, peace, kindness, and love flow freely. And I am grateful.
Happy birthday, Jesus.
Award-winning sci-fi author * Christ follower, wife, and mom * broadcast content producer. And yes, I am a real duchess. http://amzn.to/2eLTlH3