As we enter the week leading up to Christmas, I thought I’d share the list of things I’m reminding myself of this year. Because, well, Christmas is a beautiful, joyous, and lovely time of year as we celebrate the Savior who came to us as a baby to deliver us from sin and death. Beautiful, joyous, lovely. Yes.
And then there’s us. Sometimes we — well, we complicate things. We have expectations, frustrations, and expert perfectionistic ability at times.
We laugh and agree, because we know ourselves so well. We freak out a little at Christmastime. But we don’t want to. Truly, we don’t. So this year, can we make an agreement before God and each other to be chill moms? To be flexible, loving, and centered? Let’s.
— I will not allow my ideals of perfection to mean more to me than the people placed in my life. No perfect outfit, home, meal, or gift can take the place of a loving gesture and the feeling of being loved.
— I will not stress about houseguests or what I will feed them. I will relax and enjoy the time spent engaging, rather than arranging.
— I will refrain from feeling like a failure because I haven’t made enough “memories” with my children. In the end, who we were to our kids will be more important that what we did.
— There will only be Christmas crafts and baking if said activities are mutually enjoyable to the participants rather than a horrific activity to be endured. If you hate baking and crafts? By all means, step away from the rolling pin and the construction paper.
— This year, I will let go of my perfectly laid plans, and roll. with. the. punches.
— I will give more smiles than disapproving looks.
— I will not spend more than I can. I will get creative, rather than burdened by debt and stress.
— I will remember that advent devotionals and calendars are A way to celebrate the coming of Jesus, but they are not THE way.
— I will be gracious to my in-laws and extended family. I will not be a pushover, but I will be kind.
— Miss Flexible will be my name. No naps for little ones? No worries. The dinner is now cold? Doesn’t phase me. Uncle Pete laughs so loud, he wakes the baby (again)? It’s just one day, we remind ourselves. No inconvenience is worth a strained relationship. Let’s be flexible.
— I will not compare myself or my family to the glowing teeth models on the Christmas cards arriving in my mailbox. Christmas cards are not a requirement, nor are they fodder knocking yourself or your people.
— I will not present a faux view of my family this Christmas. We will be us.
— I will not make tradition a god. I will check my heart before I check off a box.
— My home is not a museum. I will not go nuts about the decor. After all, it’s just a tree inside a house. Think about that for a second. Strange. (Oh, but isn’t it divine to sit by the tree late at night when all are in bed? Glory.)
— I will not freak out about gifts. I will not buy junk just to buy someone something. I will not be picky about the wrapping paper. I will not go crazy with gift fairness, nor will I place expectations on my people. I will receive gifts graciously, and teach my children to do the same.
— I will be thankful for all that I have. And mostly for Jesus who came.
— Together with my family, we will find a way to remove the focus from our family’s wants and wishes, and find a way to give to someone in need.
— Mostly, I will center my hope and my joy on Jesus. He came. He lives. He’s coming again! Praise Him.
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