As I write this, Christmas is just a few breaths away. Women everywhere are on their last nerve.
Children are hardly able to eat, sleep, or concentrate at school with the looming holiday. I’m sure teachers are counting the milliseconds before they can release the little darlings into their parents’ care for the break.
Husbands are darting in and out of stores, finishing their shopping.
But the rest of Christmas is really up to us women, isn’t it? I don’t mean to sound resentful, but there would be no decorations, no food, no presents for Great Grandma, and no stocking stuffers if it wasn’t for us.
Let’s not get me started on Christmas cards. Is there a man on the planet who has ever said, “Gee, let’s pick out our outfits for our Christmas card photo shoot!”?
NO. THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD.
It’s up to us, dear women. Christmas is up to us.
It’s not that our families don’t care, it’s just that they sort of think these things appear magically. You know, maybe Santa brings them down the chimney with the gifts. It’s no surprise that we’re a little exhausted and cranky. We’re taking care of our normal activities, plus we’re trying to bake five special dishes to take to five different potlucks.
Lady friends, let’s show ourselves some grace this season. Let’s give our families the present of our very best selves– the rested, happy, not-crazy version of us.
It doesn’t have to be this hard.
So let’s go ahead and cheat a little for the potluck. Bring something from the deli. We’ll put it in a nice dish and smile mysteriously when they ask for the recipe.
When we get sick of wrapping presents, let’s stop. Hide those suckers, unwrapped, all over the house and tell the kids it’s a scavenger hunt.
When we run out of money, let’s give ourselves permission to STOP SHOPPING. It’s okay to have limited resources. It’s not okay to bankrupt ourselves in the name of Christmas joy.
The little kids probably want to sit next to us and look at the Christmas tree. They probably would enjoy making a snowman or decorating cookies together. They do not need professional level gingerbread villages or hand sewn pajamas.
The older kids want more time to nap and watch YouTube videos, so that’s easy enough. We can nap when they nap, just like when they were babies!
The husbands and the rest of the family would probably appreciate it if we’d stop snapping their heads off. So let’s sit down with a nice mug of something warm and give ourselves a break.
(If it’s been an especially long day, a wee glass of wine might not hurt, either.)
Let’s go back two thousand years.
Remember back to the original Christmas, when Mary had the most beautiful experience ever. It was held in a literal barn. There was no potluck or Christmas tree or ugly sweater contest. She did not festoon the manger with twinkle lights or hand-embroider stocking decorations.
Mary had a quiet, holy night, contemplating God’s gift to the world. She held Salvation in her arms and nursed him at her breast.
Let’s not miss the beauty of the season by trying to make everything beautiful. It already is. It’s already the most blessed, holy holiday we have, partly because a woman was willing to allow God to work through her.
We still have the opportunity to let God work through us in this season. May we be open, willing, and rested enough to follow where he leads us.