I must confess I am a pushover for magazine ads, catalog images, and commercials this time of year. I can spend all kinds of time dreaming up and creating the perfect place settings and centerpieces for the Christmas table. I can get distracted arranging nativity sets and stockings. And presents, I want to be beautifully wrapped in color coordinated paper and bags so I could pin a picture on Pinterest! Even the food needs to be served on beautiful platters in a picture perfect display. Of course, the children need to be clean and dressed in their holiday frocks in order to complete this commercially induced tableau.
I have checklists all over the house in order to insure no detail will be forgotten. I have lists of what to buy, what to wrap, what to clean, what to prepare, what to do. I want this Christmas to be as wonderful as the catalog image I have been sold.
But who will remember these details? Who will appreciate the hours of thought and preparation? What will be remembered this Christmas?
Think about your own childhood Christmases. You may have vague memories with images, but what we tend to remember are the feelings. Was Christmas a time of joy and laughter? Was it serious and formal? Was it stiff with expectations? Or was it full of genuine love and celebration?
My lists can rule the house. I can find myself marching about dispensing orders in a frenzy of activity in an effort to not forget a single item on the lists. But caught up in these details I have lost sight of what will create the real memories I want for my family and the feelings experienced as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior!
How can my preparation for Christmas this year be different? How can I prepare for a Christmas that will be remembered fondly? Instead of focusing on the old lists, the trappings and bows, what if I focused on a new list? A list of attributes that grow as I focus on Christ and who He is!
Paul reminds us to clothe ourselves in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Before the list of “To Do” and “To Make” consider the list “To Be.” My new list this Christmas is “To Be”:
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love,
which binds them all together in perfect unity.
By Heather Larson
Wife to Peter, Mom of 3
1 Corinthians 13 Team Member, Associate Director of 10 Great Dates