I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.
~ Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
I always want Christmas to be a state of the heart: cozy, content, happy, warm, loving, with family and good food and remembering the birth of Jesus. Caroling. Children in plays that remind us of God’s Gift of Love. Loving others. You know, basically a Norman Rockwell meets Hallmark Channel kind of experience. And then the much anticipated season arrives.
The Christmas Rush
Suddenly, December is here, complete with deadlines, shopping, over-extended commitments, decorating, baking, menu making, wrapping, cleaning, more shopping, traveling, more deadlines, oops, forgot to add So-and-So to my list — more shopping! And so it goes.
There has been an adorable little German Advent calendar house sitting on my hearth for the past 10 Christmases. I think I used half of the days one year. I have enough Advent books to keep my future grandchildren enthralled until they hit puberty. Those two bags of Christmas boxes — the ones I was supposed to fill with various baked goods for all of our neighbors — have mocked me for seven years in a row as I’ve repacked them (unused) with the rest of the decorations.
Listening to Amy Grant’s song I Need a Silent Night the other day, I was struck by these lines:
December comes then disappears
Faster and faster every year
Did my own mother keep this pace
Or was the world a different place?
Add to that all the songs that talk about trimming the tree on Christmas Eve. Wait, Christmas Eve?? You’ve missed December, and therefore, Christmas by then! Is the December in my head too big, with my list of “I’m Going To Do This Differently This Year” tasks? I, like everyone else, run myself ragged all month, do a bit too much snapping at the ones I’m supposed to be loving, and don’t do most of the stuff on my “Differently This Year” list because I’m too busy with the “Must Happen” list that isn’t nearly as much fun.
I hope to work on my Christmas heart all year, freeing my time and energy to be available for those around me, not just next Christmas, but throughout the year. To give myself the time to really soak in, and pour out, all that Christmas represents: love, peace, thankfulness…basically, the essence of knowing that Jesus Christ was born into this world.
With this goal in mind, I’ve created a tentative plan for getting ahead of the last minute Christmas rush. Each month, I will be working on a project that will make for a more peaceful December. I am creating free editable and printable planners as I go along and would love to share them with you. Sign up here to get yours (plus every other resource available in the Members’ Only Resource Library!).
Have a Silent Night!
Do you have a system for working on your Christmas heart throughout the year? Please share your ideas in the comments, I would love to learn from you!
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