Sunday, November 27, 2011

Letting Go of the Guilt and Surrendering to the Joy

Before Joe and I became parents we began to talk of how to teach our little ones about the love of Jesus, His birth, His life and His death.  We wanted our holidays to be reflective of our faith, our traditions ones that our children would fall in love with and carry into their own families one day.

We put a lot of pressure on ourselves, on our ideas.

As we enter into this season of celebration I found myself starting to panic this morning.  We have most of the presents bought, we have baked cookies, the decorating happens tomorrow, I don't feel pressured about the "business" of the season - it's under control.  But I wonder if I can adequately convey the awe and wonder of the season to my children.  How can we breathe Jesus into every moment of this season?  How can we teach them the true meaning of this wondrous season, this time of miracles?

It overwhelms me just a bit.

Then I remembered a post I wrote years ago, long before ANYONE at all read this little corner of mine.

So my husband and I have had the great debate for 3 years now - yes, even before Fia was born.  We have been trying to figure out how to make Christmas meaningful.  How can you do it with the world pushing in on you from every angle, with Santa on every corner, presents on the mind of everyone and Jesus curiously getting more and more absent from our culture.  This is the first year that I surrendered to the idea that Christmas is truly just about Christ.  We are not banning Santa or presents or lights or the magical feeling of Christmas rather embracing those things through Christ.  I realized that waking up Christmas morning knowing that Christ was born is more magical and exciting and thrilling than any other possibility for that morning and it is one that won't lose it's truth when you get older.   We are going to celebrate Christ with cake and ice cream for breakfast, with gifts from the Magi, with stockings from Santa in remembrance of St. Nick and how much he loved Jesus, with the placing of baby Jesus in his manger and with the giving of gifts and cookies to our friends.  How exciting to know that Jesus is coming in just 25 short days.  Sofia can't wait to get up and have a party with baby Jesus.  She says that he is going to be so messy when he eats his cake and she wants to buy him candyland for his present.  Sofia has taught me that you don't have to "fit" Jesus into your Christmas, He simply is a part of everything.  I am more excited this year than I have ever been before and it is because I finally understand that without Christ Christmas is simply another day just like any other.

And I remembered.

He is with us all we do we speak the language of Jesus this Christmas season - in loving others, in opening our home to friends and family, in the giving of all we have, in creating -with glue and glitter and stickers - decorations for our Savior's birthday.  We speak of the love that was created in us and through us.  

As you begin your celebration I hope that you surrender to the JOY of this time, the LOVE that is present, the PEACE that comes from the birth of a Savior and the MIRACLE of this season.

I can't explain why but this video always makes me cry - tears of joy and awe and happiness.  My breathe is taken away by the simple fact that people are proclaiming, in such a beautiful way, the message of the season in the midst of every day life.   You are forced to stop and take notice.

1 comment:

Grandma Goats said...

I have to admit I always cry when I hear this piece. My heart just over flows with thanksgiving and it spills out through my eyes. I just wish I could express myself with such a beautiful voice.