Oh, the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season! There’s so MUCH to get done, so many great things to do as a family, and then there are all those projects, crafts, and activities that everyone will love to do. PHEW! That list makes me exhausted, just writing it. I’m beginning to think that my family might need to begin simplifying Christmas.
I love Christmas! I love the spirit of good will that fills everyone! I love the excitement, lights, and beauty that is on display! Sometimes though, I wonder if all these outward observances are getting in the way of more personal inward observances.
Please don’t misunderstand… I know everyone celebrates Christmas and the holidays in the way they enjoy the most. I’m just wondering—if we actually stopped and evaluated all the things we tried to do in 30 (give or take) days, would we still do it all?
As I was pondering this question this year, I realized that as much as I love all the things to do at Christmas time, I was letting the good things to do get in the way of the best things the season has to offer. So, as a family, we decided to limit some of the season’s delights and replace them with more Christ-centered celebrations.
Some of the things we’ve decided to limit this year included our exterior lights display, our interior decorations, and the number of nights we spend out of the house as a family. We have replaced these activities with a nightly devotional, and time spent together as a family at home. These new traditions seem to be lending to more of a peaceful Christmas spirit – instead of a frantic Christmas rush.
Cutting the Lights:
I am a huge fan of Christmas light displays. I love watching them. They fill the night with so much light and warmth. So, it was a difficult personal discussion about whether to put up the Christmas lights this year or not. I finally decided that the time needed to put the lights up would have to be taken from time with my family. We’ve been so busy as a family lately, and time spent with my family feels so precious – that the light display didn’t get put up.
Cutting Back on the Christmas Décor:
We have our tree up, and had a great time decorating it. We also have a couple Nativities out and a Kneeling Santa, but that’s all we’ve put out on the inside this year. Again, this decision was difficult to make, but basically it boiled down to which was more important to me – dressing up my house or being present with my children.
Staying Home More:
We’ve gone to the children’s school Christmas performance and we will go to our church’s celebration, but we have not gone to any of the other community events in our area. It’s not that we don’t enjoy them, but the bustle of getting to the events often creates such a feeling of contention and stress that the trade-off doesn’t feel worth it.
After the kids are clean for the night, and the house has been put to bed – meaning straightened and ready for the next day, our family gathers to read scripture verses, discuss them, and sing Christmas carols and other religious songs. While we aren’t studying from the New Testament, we are still studying about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This brings a wonderful spirit into our home each evening. It also helps to have the house in order before going to bed. This adds to the spirit of peace and allows for a smoother morning (most of the time.)
These are some of the ways we are trying to make Christmas more quiet and peaceful this year. Have you changed any of your family’s activities in order to refocus on the meaning for the season?