FAITH: Celebrating without the Circus


You can lessen Christmas Chaos like what you see here!


Ahhhh. December 23. 

While I dodge cars driven by people shaking their fists, beeping their horns at stop lights and stopping abruptly, I say, “Thank You, God, for Christmas Eve Eve. And while I’m at it, every other day of the year, too.” 

 Christmas 2009 marks the second year of a well-threaded thought pattern: what don’t I have to do to celebrate Christmas? 

 Consider its implications. If it’s “too scary” a thought, just do a quick read.   

 Since considering this question, I’ve learned three main lessons – and no, I’m not writing any dissertations on the human condition and celebration methods or trying to earn any kudos for being super spiritual at this time of year. 

 I’m just trying to rediscover Christmas – in the manger and in my life. 

 LESSON ONE: Humble beginnings can produce unimaginably life changing results.  

 Yes, Jesus arrived in a much simpler way than I would have planned, but that’s the point. I don’t have the eternal foresight God does when it comes to beginnings and their impact. I can trust him to take any of the simple starts in my life to have an effect on others and their lives. The key is listening to His directions and something very deep – beginning! One of my dear friends has a great saying: “Let’s see what God has in mind.” I like that. It keeps me on the lookout! 

 LESSON TWO: Love is not spelled G-I-F-T. 

 Yes, Jesus was God’s gift to us and that’s that. The need of all mankind, womankind and kidkind is met now and forever.  Here’s what I’m learning: a purchased anything does not itself signify love. It says, “I spend money on you because [fill in the blank].” Here’s what I’ve experienced: a lingering hug of affirmation; my husband’s strength upon receiving news of the most dreaded sort; my 16-year-old needing glasses and allowing me to go with him. Yes, I had the wallet, but who can put a price on spending time with their kids or others? 

 LESSON THREE: The myth that “Christmas comes but once a year” is simply that – a myth. 

 Yes, Christ’s birth occurred only once – but what I mean is that our celebration, acknowledgment and living out that truth are “open for business 24/7/365.” Every day, every moment, every second is a potential Christmas moment. No, I haven’t had too much chocolate or Diet Coke. Yes, I think it’s time to consider keeping “I Love Yous” up to date [to the best of our ability], to not be a chronic horn beeper at stop lights and to realize that the best gift in addition to Jesus is every breath to acknowledge and live life with Him. 

 Just wondering: What comes to mind when you consider what you don’t have to do to celebrate Christmas? It’s not too early to start thinking about how celebrating Christmas next year could change for you.  

 Three thoughts: 

  1. If decorating becomes a drag, offer to help someone who may need help.
  2. If special functions wear you to a frazzle, consider options – offer to help in the kitchen and be unseen or send regrets with a heartfelt note to thank the host for thinking of you.
  3. Re-allocate some spending. Make a change by doing something different. If you’re not into sending cards, consider using what you might have spent on postage as a charitable donation in honor of someone special in your life. Acknowledge those bell ringers! Give more than a quarter. You might even like it!

2 thoughts on “FAITH: Celebrating without the Circus

  1. Laurie Sprague

    The church I have been attending has been doing a series on having a simple Christmas and I have been listening!!! I didn’t get a “real” tree – might have something to do with the fact that I have a 7-month-old Great Dane puppy that would have knocked over every ornament, plus the tree itself. Put up an artificial tabletop tree on loan from Mom and only hung the favorite ornaments. Haven’t baked the first cookie. Cut gift budget in half this year. Did not hang outside lights. Am going to pick the fresh oranges and grapefruit from my trees to take to family functions to share. And you know what – I still will celebrate Jesus’s birth over the next two days with my kids and extended family and be thankful for the ultimate gift that HE provided for me.


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