Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas in Disguise

It's Christmas crunch time. I am in the midst of reading Ann Voskamp's The Greatest Gift.The emails are relentless--big savings, stocking stuffers, free shipping, must-haves, ultimate guides to everything, how to make your own perfect Christmas.

Its all everywhere. 

Frenzy is everywhere. Lists. Sales. Menus. Calendars. Budgets.

I feel like the reason for celebrating--the gift--the waiting--the hope are all bogged down, mucked up, muddled with photo-ops, cute outfits and glittering gifts.

The needs are everywhere--kids without gifts, loved ones separated, honest people without homes, warm clothes or food. Let alone money and family and joy.

Its all just so much. 

I have to admit the Christmas to-do's are weighing on me. Mainly because everywhere I look I see Christmas in disguise.

The Nativity surrounded by Santa (or at our house nutcrackers), the holy carols playing along side the endless commercials. Those working so hard and feeling as if they are not enough because they don't spend enough. How does that make sense? How can Christmas make us feel like we are not enough? God thinks each of us is enough--each one of us got the most unbelievable gift from the almighty. Sometimes in the modern-day Christmas, we can't seem to see the Miracle.

Thank you God for the blessing, the most precious gift of your Son. 

To walk this earth, to experience the life you breathed into everyone of us.

Then making him the greatest teacher we've ever known with lessons and stories that were relevant thousands of years ago and are equally filled with truth today.

Then sacrificing him, as a living and eternal atonement for the everyday mistakes we make. The daily grind of trying our best but giving in to what the world wants--the stuff, the more, the I need, the what-about-me.

When all we really need we've already been given. Before we were ever born.

Your precious Son.

Your Holy Spirit.

Your eternal love.

Yesterday, when I was really feeling the tug of the lists, budgets and stress that Christmas can bring with it--this Christmas in disguise showed itself to me. Through my nonstop three year old no less.

His grandmother had been over to bring some new Christmas clothes and go to the movies with us. As she left he stopped her and said "Wait, we have to give you something!!!"

(I had nothing to give.)

"We have to give you some apple butter!! Yeah, we made it and we'll share it with you!"

(We made it months ago, but he knows its something we do when we have visitors or want to take something special to someone)

I went and got a jar to hand him, he was thrilled to share it.

This lesson of sharing, of giving that we've been working on teaching all year long, proved worthwhile and unveiled itself at Christmastime.

When I had "nothing to give" my sweet son found something to share.

Just as I have "nothing to give" the one who shared his Son for me.

Its the giving that is the gift. 

The teaching that has been the lesson for me.

In the simple sharing, there is a great reward.

In the calm and stillness and joy and hope for everyone.

I pray we'll have more of the real Christmas experience reveal itself over the coming weeks. I hope I can see through the disguise and behold the beauty this season is.

I pray the same for you and your family, too. Thanks for sharing this with me today.


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