Its coming up on Christmas and I did it again. Sam got down all the decorations for me and I went to work. Granted, I took more time doing it this year. I wanted to be relaxed and not get crazy and irritated. Things were fine the first day. I got the nativity set out in its box for Braden to set up the next day and then, I got the shelf top cleared off and the entryway landing strip cleared so we could set some stuff up. The next day, I got the tree out and set it up in preparation for the bazillion ornaments to hang on it. That's where the detour popped up. All sanity and goodwill and graciousness went away as the grabby hands came out of the woodwork. After the second glass icicle met its demise on the floor, I lost it! To be honest, I wasn't upset about the ornaments. They are actually not beyond repair. I was not in control of the situation and my kids were not obeying and I was not responding at all well or in any manner worthy of emulation. I threw a little mini tantrum, growled my irritation and clenched my fists up on either side of my head. I then stood completely still with my hands over my eyes while I prayed that the Lord would take my irritation and agitation and help me restore order to the chaos. That's when He began to ask me if it was that important. Yes! Of course it was! I wanted to get it done and done in a certain way and my kids were not getting the memo. They were messing up my plan!....Okay, no, its not really important. I don't want them to remember Christmas as being a stressful time, when the Crazy-Eyed Mom Monster makes everyone miserable and sets a completely wrong example of how to handle situations that aren't going according to The Plan. So, we stopped right in the middle of decorating the tree. It was the right choice. I had to ask forgiveness of the Lord, then I asked forgiveness of Ailey and then Braden. Yeah, totally in the running for Not-So-Mom-Of-The-Year Award. ;) It also gave me the opportunity to get somewhat back on track for our day. You know, get some school work done instead of the "oh-so-important task" of tree decorating. Yep.
After dinner, I decided to resume my decorating escapade while the boys were at Awanas. I was getting a bit overwhelmed at how I could set everything up. (Its funny, I get that way about my house, but no one else's. ;) I was googling for inspiration and tweaking here and rearranging there and finally just gave up after everyone had gone to bed with the intent of starting afresh today. I started with God this morning instead of the myriad of other distractions that I generally get caught up in and my what a difference that has made! I also came across this link in my fb wanderings this morning and I needed to read this! http://jenhatmaker.com/blog/2011/11/29/the-christmas-conundrum. I don't think coincidence had anything to do with it, either. It is exactly the way I feel about this time of year and God has been doing quite a bit of gearing us toward simplicity for the last few years....I think it might have finally sunk in. I have to admit that I like the lights and decorations of this time of year. What I don't like is the misappropriated focus that tends to lead the way. I want my kids to enjoy this time and have fun putting up a tree and lights, but I don't want it to be the focus. Sam and I also need to talk about presents for the kids. I'm not so sure I want to do that anymore. We were going to get each kiddo one gift that they could open, but was for sharing with the other kiddos, as well as stocking stuffers. We'll see.
Braden and I had a talk about presents a day or so ago. He mentioned something about presents going under the tree and I told him I didn't know if we were going to do that or not. I said its Jesus' birthday, not ours. He understood perfectly and was quite satisfied with that answer. We are going to shop in the World Vision gift catalog as a family and decide what to get Jesus for His birthday. :)
I really like how Octamom puts it: Jesus is NOT the reason for the season, but He IS the answer for it! She is sharing a series called Christmas Secrets and I have found the first installment VERY interesting. If you've ever wanted the history of how the celebration of Christmas came about, you can click here and listen to her speak on this subject.
So, to end: Merry Christmas! I hope you are having a very joyful, relaxed, enjoyable holiday season with your loved ones. :)