Big preparations are taking place right now because it is the time of year for celebrations. Parties are in progress everywhere. The Big Office Christmas Bash, small intimate gatherings among close friends. Almost every social or business related group that one is a part of plans some sort of Christmas celebration.
So much shopping. Retail parking lots are full. For those who do not like to walk a lot or wait a lot, it is not a fun time.
Personally, I love to go into a place of business and see the Christmas decorations, hear the Christmas music and see the people rustling, bustling, colorfully clothed, carrying multiple packages. It is contagious, that part of the Christmas spirit.
Taken Aback, or Overwhelmed by Expectations?
The activity can very quickly become very overwhelming. We will feel taken aback and that is when stress will try to set in. Things would especially get overwhelming for me when I had small children running around with lots of dreams of Santa Claus coming. They would watch the Christmas specials on TV and listen to their friends. They would compare with one another what they were going to get up on Christmas morning and find under the tree or in a stack in the living room just for their personal pleasure.
I would overhear so many desires coming from the mouths of my children and at times I was barely able to afford to buy all of the groceries that were needed to feed them. It was then, that I would become concerned about how there were going to be any presents for anyone. The concern would become worry, worry would become stress, stress would become depression.
The children with all of that hope in their eyes. Their ideas of what would make them so happy. A mother who knew that the hopes may not be satisfied with the brand new toys or gifts that they were hoping for.
So many years ago. I was a brand new Christian, then. I thought I had to be Super Woman and provide it all. I wasn’t able to provide it all, though. Not even close to all of it. Sometimes, not even a small fraction of it all.
Many of the expectations that we take on ourselves at this time of year are false. They are expectations that God does not place on us. The world places them on us through media. People who don’t really know Jesus take them on and place them on us and we take those expectations on ourselves as our own as if they are a heavy cloak that we are destined to wear.
We don’t have to take them on. God’s expectations are so simple.
He provides what He knows that we need.
The birds of the air…He even cares for them
“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Matthew 6:26
History of Christmas
I have not researched the history, but I know that the date is not mentioned in the Bible. All I know is that somewhere down the line, someone decided to celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25 of every year. The world took on that celebration date and now it is a worldwide practice. This is a good thing. No matter how the world is trying to deny Jesus more and more, there is still a day that is set aside for the celebration of His birthday.
There are many practices that have become attached to this same day. Some Godly and some not.
We can still dedicate December 25th to the celebration of Jesus’ birthday. We only need to take on the practices that we are peaceful about taking on. There are no guidelines set up telling us the right or wrong way to celebrate. I recently read a story of a real family with 6 children who decided to dedicate their gift giving to overseas missions. They never have gifts under the tree, but their hearts are full. They get excited and the whole family participates in the selection of what to send overseas. They have done this for many years.
Jesus is the reason for the season in my own words:
Christmas is about the miracle of the Holy Spirit overshadowing a virgin and placing
God’s seed in her womb and the Angel Gabriel (Messenger of God) visiting her betrothed and letting him know that everything was not as it seemed in the eyes of the world but that it was ok. Then, after a time, Mary labored with the pains of childbirth and the Godchild was born in a little barn surrounded by the odor of cow dung because “there was no room at the inn”.
I don’t think that after giving birth, Mary was sitting up beside the manger all prim and proper and perfectly clothed like the world depicts. I’ve given birth to 4 children myself and have experienced what goes on after childbirth. However, the scripture tells us that the Godchild was wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed in a manger and that Angels came to visit and sang heavenly songs over Him.
No, do not be disheartened if you cannot shower all of the luxuries of this world on your children this year. If stress and depression are trying to creep into your heart, don’t allow them to take up residence. Ask God to give you joy and show you the hope of Christmas and the joy that He wants you to share with your family. He will provide you with everything that you personally need for your day.
God’s world is upside down when we compare it to the condition of the world as it is, today. Personally, I love God’s upside down world.
Love to you and be blessed.