The Balancing Act of Christmas

“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV)

Christmas is for children. But it is for grown-ups too. Even if it is a headache, a chore, and nightmare, it is a period of necessary defrosting of chill and hide-bound hearts. ~Lenora Mattingly Weber (1895–1971)

The pulling of the heart and conscience starts. The heart wants to decorate and fill the home with garland and festive balls and bulbs. Go shopping and buy things to wrap with beautiful ribbon and paper. But the heart also yearns to keep the celebration about the birthday of the Christ.

We place our manger scenes near the tree to remind us that Christmas is not just in baubles and bows. But does it truly work?

This week I begin to decorate. The past year the toy room has been a haven for seasonal decorations that have been tossed in and not properly put away. I keep telling myself it will make it easier to get things out. I also chide myself for being so lazy that I haven’t put stuff away properly.

Today one wreath was hung on our front door. Thanksgiving decorations lay on the end table waiting to be lugged upstairs. The battle has begun for me.

Just looking at this tires me out, yet another part of me is thrilled. Christmas can truly be a battle. Yet, it is one that I happily face each year.

As far as decorating, I both dread it and cannot wait for it. This year is no different. I know that the decorations do not make Christmas better, but to me, they are a reminder that we are celebrating the greatest gift ever given to man. We are preparing to remember His birth. I am reminded that His life gave us a precious gift of salvation, and no other gift can top that. But, we can give a gift to those we love as a gesture and commemoration of that gift.

I strive each day of December to be balanced in my celebration. Yes, I love those Christmas songs about reindeer and red noses, I love to hear about Grandma being run over by an errant reindeer, I remember wanting those two front teeth. These are all part of the month.

I also try not to scream humbug! as my feet tingle after a day of shopping. I do sing to my daughters after I have purchased the first gift of the season. Christmas is coming… the goose is getting fat… I half hope it annoys them and reminds them of me singing to them in the car picking them up at school.

Christmas is a battle of all things. Celebration, remembrance, times of grief, times of loneliness, times of worship, times of glee. It’s compounded into four weeks of whirlwind activity.

I hope this year to avoid a battle and take each day and fill it with balance. To be like the Grinch and have my heart grow three times larger, or like Scrooge and carry Christmas all year.

“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10b (NKJV)

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