Yesterday I read words challenging me to be brave this Christmas season.
Not brave in facing the crowds at the mall or the never-ending to-do list, but brave enough to return the gaudy imitation of Christmas that the season has become and exchange it for one that has everything to do with God’s original purpose.
The birth of Christ brought exactly what we all need, but doesn’t require any of what our culture offers. He wants us as we are, including our mismatched stockings, burned cookies and small budgets.
Embracing a Christmas focused on the real deal of the season is countercultural. Taking a stand against the thousands of advertising messages requires bravery. Reprogramming my thinking to imagine a Christmas celebration apart from a massive gift exchange while we wear our matching pajamas eating Santa Claus-shaped doughnuts won’t happen without a fight.
The point is not throwing out the Christmas celebration altogether. The time set aside to celebrate is still good and right, and God is still honored in our recognition and joy of the Gift we celebrate.
Maybe it’s simply time to be brave enough to celebrate in an individual way.
For me, that means less of a call to perfection. The stockings don’t need to coordinate. My cookies don’t have to look like they were bought at a bakery, and the number of presents doesn’t matter at all.
What does matter is that the baby in a manger was perfect. He has the power to deal with the things that really do matter. He doesn’t care if my house is decorated. He doesn’t need my kids to look fancy for the Christmas Eve service, and the food I can prepare is dirt compared to what he desires to fill us with.
It is Christ’s perfection that changes hearts, wisdom, compassion and the restoration my heart really needs this season and throughout the year.
All of my fussing and worrying won’t allow me to touch perfection. Even my brave choices will not allow me to reach perfection. But I rest knowing God’s son sent to earth does not need my commercial efforts to be celebrated.
Hearts at Home is a nonprofit organization designed to encourage, educate and equip moms at all stages. Hearts at Home, 1509 N. Clinton Blvd., Bloomington, IL61701-1813; (309) 828-MOMS;www.hearts-at-home.org.