This weekend was the official beginning of Christmas for my family.
I attended our women's ministry Sharing Christmas Love Brunch, delivered a Christmas basket to a sweet little lady in a nursing home (now that is Christmas!), and turned on the Christmas music in our home.
James got the Christmas boxes out of the garage and brought the filthy things into the house, set up the Christmas tree, and watched football (he thinks that is Christmas!).
I decorated the tree and the house, sometimes with a good attitude and joyful spirit, sometimes with a sour attitude and resentment that I was getting little help. In the end, good triumphed over evil, but it's a real contest of the attitude every year. Oh, and James did eventually lend quite the helpful hand. Amazing how much joy that brought me...
Abigail danced the Macarena on the Student Council float in the Christmas parade and James and I watched while eating our burrito and tacos from Filiberto's.Evidently, shaking her groove thing all the way down Fry Boulevard is her idea of Christmas.
But for me, over the past several years, Christmas has come to mean one thing: work. It's really become more of a pain than a pleasure. Folks, that is sad.
Christmas can be a lot of work. Would you agree? And if I'm not careful, I can get so bogged down in the to-do list and the obligations that I neglect to really celebrate.
That's what Christmas is supposed to be, right? A celebration of Jesus' birth? And yet so often it feels more like a duty, like work. And then when you get the bill...well you know how that goes.
So this year, now that the house is decorated and Christmas is in full gear, I've determined to join in the celebration. Yes, I still have gifts to buy and wrap, Christmas speaking engagements to prepare for, fudge to make, and thank you notes to write, but I'm going to do my best to even do those little "chores" in the spirit of celebration.
How do you keep Christmas from becoming a chore instead of a celebration? How do you keep from being a party pooper? How do you make Christmas a time of personal joy and enthusiasm rather than a personal drain? I'd really like to know and I bet others would too. Please share your ideas, and let's all try to make Christmas a little more enjoyable this year -- for ourselves and our families.
PS. Here are a few pics of my favorite Christmas decorations. It's my dining room and it's such a joy to decorate because it's already full of red and has a picture of the three wise men on the wall. Plus, no one messes it up with shoes and kleenex and book bags and such. Glory!