I sit here enjoying a nice cup of my favorite raspberry tea, and am somewhat overwhelmed by the number of things to do this month.

Moving at any time is enough to keep you busy, especially when your kids unpack boxes almost as fast as you pack them! Moving between Thanksgiving and Christmas is even more interesting. Did I mention that everyone is coming to my “new” house for Christmas???

As adults, we all too often have the attitude that we don’t like Christmas. I’ve said plenty of Bah-humbugs in my lifetime! I don’t think that it’s Christmas that we dislike though, I think it’s the expectations that we feel we must live up to at Christmas. Gifts for everyone, perfectly decorated house, matching outfits for the family photo, scores of cards to send, a small feast to make completely from scratch. Is it any wonder that Christmas creates stress? Why do we do this?

I realize that Christ was actually born sometime in the spring, and not on December 25th, but it is a good thing to have a time set aside to celebrate His birth. Many of the traditions that God established during Old Testament times served the purpose of teaching children what God had done, as well as reminding the adults of the greatness of their God. That’s what Christmas should be about for us. A time to rejoice that Christ was born here on Earth, and teach our children what that means to us.

Decorations, food, gifts, etc. are all nice enough, but they are not to be our focus. We could easily scale back and simplify our expectations. Would anyone really be upset with us if we did that. I think that the answer might surprise us. I think that everyone else would also be relieved to be freed from the “perfect holiday prison”.

So, this year, I’ll put up the tree and let my kids decorate it. Sure it will look like it was done by toddlers, but that’s a look that I’ve come to treasure. Christmas dinner will be potluck, so that none of us are a slave to the kitchen for the month of December. Gifts will include things like the jam I made this summer, and small handknit projects. I’ll take the time to enjoy all of the Christmas music that I love with my kids.

My favorite Christmas special is “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, so I’ll close by taking my cue from Linus.

Luke 2:8-14

” And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

And that’s what Christmas is all about.