Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas In Real Life

Ah...Christmas. I love everything about it. I love the beautiful glow of a tree covered in ornaments that all have a special meaning. I love the Nativity scenes I have displayed around the house. I especially love the music of the season...singing along at the top of my lungs. I love snuggling under a blanket, reading a Max Lucado book, listening to the City on a Hill cd that a friend "loaned" to me about 5 years ago.

Sounds pretty idyllic, doesn't it? I realize, too, that it sounds pretty self-centered. And that, friends, is the struggle.

Today, I (subtly) chased my husband out of the living room where he was watching football so I could decorate the top of the entertainment center with my Willow Tree Nativity and listen to Christmas music.

Today, I yelled at my kids for breaking the heads off two of the wisemen in their $10 nativity that I knew would get broken sooner or later. I was trying to tell them who was who in the story, and they were clinking their heads together. So I yelled.

Today, I told them to look with their eyes not with their hands at the Santa display that sits on the roll-top desk. (OK, I am serious about that one.)

Today, I yelled at them for mimicking a song while I was getting my praise on...with a capital "P". If they could just behave so I could worship God properly...Christmas is about showing Jesus that we love Him, and if they could just be quiet, I could love Jesus better.

I am fully aware of how fully aware of myself that I am. Therein lies the do I teach my kids to love Jesus and discover the true meaning of Christmas if I am busy yelling at them for getting in the way of my "experience"?

Help me, Lord, to express my love for You in a way that invites, rather than excludes, others to join in. You served God through the people, not in spite of them. Help me, Lord, to get over myself so I can make room for everyone else. Especially in this season that honors You. Amen.


  1. Thanks for your honesty, Deb. I can relate.

  2. I almost had a similar experience yesterday when we were putting up the "fake" Christmas tree. All morning at church I was talking about how much fun it was going to be and we would listen to the Christmas music and share stories of Chrstmas' past. We got the tree home and my husband got busy on the computer and my son was in his room on his iphone. I got the bottom part of the tree out and started pulling the branches apart. After apart 30 minutes, I told my husband (in that "tone") that next time he goes on a work road trip that allows him a day off between games I would appreciate it if he would use those days to get his paperwork done instead of the days when he's home with "me" and "I" have plans for him to help "me". My son took that "cue" and came over to help me and asked how to do it. "So that it looks like a pine tree, you know what that looks like don't you", he took that cue to leave the room. As I sat there by "myself" it occurred to me I had caused this. I got up from the tree and we played a family game together. I got my bootie beat but it was much more fun than putting up the tree by MYSELF, the way I wanted it. So, here I sit today doing it by MYSELF the way I want it.....and that's ok :)

  3. We are so on the same page. I didn't read this till today, but you could have totally taught on Tuesday.

  4. Ah, were you in my living room the day we put our Christmas tree up, and when I was trying to get MY praise on? Praise God that we get continuous chances to "get it right". Praise God also that we can hear when we have made a mess of things. This is awesome! Thanks