Monday, December 22, 2008

My Christmas Confession

I am a grinch through most of the season.

Not that I show it on the outside. But inside, I'm grinching all right.

It's just that I'm a busy enough person already, and Christmas comes with a long to-do list. I feel the weight of that list every December. (1) Write/design the family Christmas letter complete with pictures and get them all mailed out. (2) Do three personalized calendars with pictures on the computer for the coming year. One for our extended family, which get mailed out as gifts. One for our personal family, with a copy for us and one as a gift to each child. And one for "The Three Amigos"--my husband and his two lifelong friends, who each get a copy as presents. (3) Buy gifts for everyone. (4) Decorate the house.

Most of you probably have your own to-do Christmas lists. And like mine, they represent hours of extra work. I don't need extra work. And so in my head I complain.

Then one blessed day--usually only about four or five days before Christmas, all the work is done. We're settled into our Idaho home with Christmas lights everywhere and a tall tree. The calendars are done, printed and mailed out. Ditto with the Christmas letters. All gifts are bought. The kids arrive-- our son now with his own family, and our daughter from college. And every year I feel myself relax. I smile. I think, "Oh yeah, this is why I do all that extra stuff." And I enjoy Christmas.

But Christmas isn't really about any of that. It's about remembering that Christ came to earth for us. For me. He knew I'd think Grinchy thoughts for most of the season, all wrapped up in my petty little problems of having "too much to do" rather than thinking about His birth. And he came to earth for me anyway.

Thank You, Lord, for coming. For giving up your throne for a time and taking on humanity with all its frailties. (Can you imagine choosing to do that?!) Thank You, God, for putting up with me. Especially during the Christmas season.


Christina Tarabochia said...

Excellent reminder, Brandilyn. I feel like I tell myself to focus on the meaning of the day, not the trappings, but I seem to need to hear it again and again!

Pam Halter said...

So true, Brandilyn. I just spent the whole weekend with my parents. My mom is battling severe depression and the last few weeks have been especially hard, including a 10-day hospital stay over Thanksgiving.

We wrapped presents, baked cookies, took down Thanksgiving decorations and did her hair. We watched Christmas movies and made turkey soup. It was fun for me and a blessing for my mom, who couldn't have done any of that by herself. My dad got a break, too, because he's constantly worrying about Mom and has to help with everything. He's not used to it yet.

Still, I thought of my own to-do list. Grinch!! But seeing my mom's happy face erased all nervous thoughts that my own stuff would not be done. Priorities shifted, and I'll get done the most important things and not worry about an extra batch of cookies or dragging out ALL the decorations.

I echo your prayer, Brandilyn! Thanks for sharing.

Merry Christmas!

Lynetta said...

Beautiful post, Brandilyn, and a much needed reminder for me. Have a very Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

I ran a repeat post on my blog similar to this one as a reminder to myself as much as to anyone else.
It's always about Him. How easily we forget.
Honest and real post, BC. Thanks for that.

Lynn Squire said...

Amen. So easy to get caught up in the doin' instead of the rememberin'.

Anonymous said...

Amen! Ditto what Lynn Squire said. It's so true.

Great post!

Southern-fried Fiction said...

Brandilyn, may your Christmas be blessed with great expectation and excitement of His second coming.

Pat said...

I'm with you on the grichy side! I really don't need 10,000 extra things to do. But all should be done by tomorrow, and like you, I'll settle down and enjoy the rest of the season. Now, to finally get that letter written before I have to cook for guests tonight...