The Glory of Christmas

Less than one month from now, the Christian world celebrates the holy birth of Jesus, the Savior of the world. While that is definitely a big, no HUGE deal, it’s so easy to get caught up in the hurry and scurry of the season, thereby losing focus on the true Reason for the Season. Not that I would ever do that. Ahem.

I can’t imagine what it must have been like to be travelling, by donkey, while nine months pregnant. I’ve had six kids and personally, I can’t even think of getting up on the donkey, much less riding for miles.  And to further attempt to comprehend delivering a precious baby in a stable! While the circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus are tough to imagine, the simple beauty of the event was no doubt breath-taking. And to witness the glory of God in the form of a newborn baby? Extravagance. Unimaginably, gloriously miraculous.

We do know that there was no hotel manager, who upon hearing of the potential birth of a king in his facility, decided to Google ‘Christmas decor’ and order something new for the foyer. Neither did anyone keep their eyes peeled on Pinterest for the cutest gift idea or a fabulous new Christmas cookie recipe.

Oh, I love Google. And Pinterest. And as long as they have their place, we’re good. But in reflecting over the events and responsibilities occurring in the next few weeks, I decided to write myself a Sanity-Saving Holiday Happiness List. 🙂 And of course, I love sharing ideas with you so here we go:

1. Keep the focus on giving, but not over-giving.

In other words, if it’s not in our budget, not feasible to accomplish in an appropriate amount of time, or is extreme in any manner other than pure generosity, it’s a “no.”

2. Avoid last-minute rushes for anything.

Make your lists, if you haven’t already, and keep it simple. If you can order online and save time and money, do that. If there is one store from where you plan to purchase multiple items, do it all in one trip.

3. Do not, do not, do not fail to spend individual time with God each day.

Isn’t it crazy to think that is such a temptation when we are preparing for the celebration of such a holy day? Yet, I know from experience, it’s easy to fill all the time with the things we consider “important” only to lose what’s most important.

4. Choose joy.

I’ve read this frequently lately and yet, somehow, I needed to remind myself again.

5. Get help. 🙂

My awesome friend, Karen Ehman, has a 5 Day Chaos to Calm Holiday Challenge going on. Her book, Let.It.Go- How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith is just flat out fabulous. (I gave a review last week.) The challenge is simply 5 days of emails designed to assist you in loving the holiday season instead of wishing it were over already. I’m headed over to sign up; how about you?

But before you go, won’t you share with us what you do to stay focused on the Glory of the starry night?

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  1. I am going to “…rest beside the weary road and hear the angels sing.”

  2. I need to choose joy! Fun stuff–bake a birthday cake for Jesus. We did this when I was growing up. Be blessed:)

    1. love that. My husband’s dad always does this and we sing. 🙂 Blessings, Girl!

  3. This year is it really hard for me to stay focused. I have found my two half sisters and they are coming here to Columbus, Ohio for a first time meeting and visit on Dec. 4 I will be able to take them to the Christmas Tea at my church. I am so excited that I can hardly wait. The story of our lives and how we knew about each other; but were unable to get in touch and then God made it all possible through a post on a bulletin board at that was found by a friend who knew I was looking for them is just a miracle of God. He is so good. In His perfect timing He is bringing us together. The best part is that they are both Christians too. Jan, one of the sisters, told me that she had been looking for me for 45 years! Yes, I said it is hard to stay focused but not hard to keep thanking God for this miracle over and over again. With most of my 6 children living out of town and two of them in India on a mission trip my focus has been divided but God….. I love those words, “But God”….they have so much promise and meaning especially this year.

  4. Julie Barton says:

    I am already signed up for Karen’s 5 days….on day 2 and love it!!
    We have been limiting some of the Christmas songs that don’t focus on the reason for the season. I made a pandora station to listen to (doesn’t have Frosty, I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus)…just songs that focus on the birth of our Savior. Of course, we occasionally hear the other songs in the car or elsewhere (they are fun and have their place), but the majority of the songs that we listen to help us rejoice!!

  5. I really like the “choose joy” one! 🙂 I’m embracing this beautiful season with you girl! ~ Blessings out, Amy

    1. Oh friend! I think you are so full of joy it can’t help but flow out. Blessings to you. and I love the new profile pic on your site. 🙂

  6. Great ideas as always, Rachel! This year we’re focusing on keeping things a little simpler (as in, ideas 1-2) and simply enjoying BEING together rather than trying to DO all sorts of stuff. I’m also planning to read through John Piper’s new book for the Advent season, Good Tidings of Great Joy, to keep my thoughts focused on the real reason for our celebration. It’s free here:

  7. This is such a wise post with great perspective. It’s really important that we don’t allow ourselves to feel pressured by the image we are constantly bombarded with by the advertisers of the “perfect Christmas”. Remember they target women more with these adverts because they know we do most of the work! It’s easy to be tempted by the cute decorations, glitzy gifts and amazing looking food. But we need to keep it all in perspective and not drive ourselves into the ground aiming for perfection. Let’s stay focused this December on the two most important things – Jesus and our families.

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