Merry Christmas 2017

Merry Christmas!

I hope today is full of family, fun, food, and love. Of course, I hope you find ways to honor our Savior, born of a virgin. I pray that you are drawn closer to God by your celebrations and by this great reminder.

Later this week I will share a few pictures of our festivities and some of the fun things we did this year.

Celebrating Christmas

Whether Santa comes to your house or not, whether you have an Elf that visits or not, whether you read the Bible on Christmas morning or not, cookies for Santa, carrots for reindeer, stockings, or none of the above, let me reassure you, you’re not doing it wrong.

This truth has been a long time coming for me, but I finally got it. Last week, during a wonderful Life Group meeting, we discussed a verse in Colossians that really hit home for me.

Colossians 3:16 NIV: Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.

At first, this comforted the side of me that gets so tired of weird looks when me or the boys say that Santa doesn’t come to our house. I now have a little baby, and every body keeps asking her if she’s ready to see Santa and people just don’t get it. But, it’s not for them to get, it’s my thing. So, I kind of brushed off my feathers and thought “Ha ha! That’s there just for me, I’m not doing it wrong.”

But God wasn’t done with me there. Soon, I got to thinking about the fact that Christmas was never a holiday/celebration that God commanded us to have, and the roots of Christmas really don’t have much to do with Christ. Christmas was the churches attempt to convert a pagan celebration to something more Christian.

Whoa hold up. I’m not saying we should exclude God/Christ from any aspect of our lives. I think every waking moment of our lives should include God. (No, I’m not so great at this. Just follow me around for a day…you’ll see all the moments I don’t include God, or ask for His grace, or show it….)

You cannot add enough Jesus to your Christmas celebration to please God. At least, in my opinion I don’t think you can. I think God is more concerned with our hearts, and our daily lives, than with how many nativity scenes we put up, or how many people we reject or rebuke because they like commercial Christmas more than midnight Mass.

God doesn’t love me more for excluding Santa, and He doesn’t love you more because of your elf, and He doesn’t love us based on the gifts we give or receive, or the money we spend. We aren’t more forgiven or more saved or more ready for Heaven based on one holiday per year.

God sent Jesus, and the work of the cross was His alone. We cannot be more saveable or less saveable or more or less loveable to God. He loved us first. And showing Him honor is a daily process, not something based on one celebration.

So, whether you elf or not, Santa or no, or whatever other variety of traditions you share with your family, you are not doing it wrong.

Merry Christmas!

Throwback Thursday #1

So, I’ve decided to start doing “Throwback Thursday” and repost one of my favorite past posts, in case someone missed it. Today, I selected my post at “random” based on the post with the most views of all time.

The original post is here. New thoughts are in parentheses down below:

I’ve spent quite of bit of time today feeling like this Christmas has been a failure of epic proportions. Christmas has always meant so much to me, and I have traditions for my boys that are very near and dear to my heart. Plus, this is the third Christmas I’ve been single, and if you had asked me in 2009 how long I thought I’d be single, I would have said something about how I wanted to be single and planned on spending my life that way.

As for Christmas traditions with my boys…we have a special nativity set that I love to share with them and it never got unpacked – we usually work on it the week leading up to Christmas. Then, on Christmas morning….there is a magic to reading the story of the birth of Christ and then watching them open presents. It didn’t happen that way this year. Christmas happened a week early for us, and it was rushed. Thankfully I have my little sister, my “twin” sister by adoption and our adoptive Mama to spend time with. My boys also spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day away from home.

Why are these traditions so important, and how does missing them make Christmas feel like such an epic failure?

Because the traditions we establish ground our families and help us remember who we are and what is important to us. Traditions allow us a familiarity in life that helps us cope with the changes that often take us by surprise. They allow us to pass values down to our children, and they give us a foundation for basing our celebrations and family times on. When all else falls by the wayside, traditions are there to help us keep a grasp on life.

Yes, this is one of my romantic notions for life….

(Wow. As a re-read my own words, I remember how lonely I was feeling Christmas 2011. It was hard to be without the boys, too. I survived that Christmas, and even have some wonderful memories that I look back on. Now, I’m remarried and Christmas 2012 was spent trying to blend traditions with my wonderful husband and our kids. I hope you enjoyed this first Throwback Thursday!)