Each year we ring in the holiday season by attending dozens of holiday
meetings. This Christmas committee, that planning event. Then we still have
to make the rounds to every store in the metro-plex. ‘Tis the season for
weeks of ulcer inducing meetings and shopping, then wrapping for about 72
straight hours. Christmas morning I find myself sitting around the tree with
a glazed look and half a roll of tape stuck in my hair.
I stack three stories of gifts in front of each child. Within ten minutes
we’re up to our eyeballs in . I have five children. That’s
five three-story gift stacks and about 1200 yards of . Last
year it took us three days to find the cat.
I was scanning for Christmas sales when I ran across an Internet ad: “100
FREE HOURS!” That’s it! That’s what I want for ! Not the Internet
service–just the hours. My holiday calendar could make grown men weep.
Even if we can’t have a chestnut or two roasting on an open fire, it seems
we should at least be able to find time for some popcorn popping in the
microwave. Visions of sugarplums? I don’t think so. There hasn’t been a
silent night around our place since the season began.
Maybe we’re being sucked in to the idea that we need to “super size” the
holidays the same way we’re tempted to upgrade every fast food lunch. We
convince ourselves that to have a socially complete , we need to
super-size our schedules–adding more, spending more, eating more. I’m
popping Tums just thinking about it.
But let’s take a look at the big picture. Jesus didn’t come into
the world so that we could enjoy a nice story about a reindeer. He didn’t
come so that our kids could put on a cute play.
Christ was born so that through his sacrificial death, we could be
reconciled to a holy God. Emmanuel, “God With Us,” came to pay our sin debt.
is not for making us overworked and overwhelmed, but for
celebrating how we have been made overcomers.
The season becomes a real celebration when we learn to rest in the faithful
hands of the One who has overcome the world. Guess what we find when we rest
in him: Peace! Jesus said in John 16:33, “…in me you may have peace. In
the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome
the world.” The Lord has done the overcoming on our behalf. He’s the one who
gives peace. The only thing we truly need to work for is the resting
If your holiday schedule is keeping you up nights and you’d like a little
sleep in heavenly peace, maybe ’tis the season for saying some “no’s”–for
sanity’s sake. As for that Internet ad, if someone could actually give me
those extra 100 hours, what would I do with them? Would I cram them to the
brim with more activities? The truth is that we have loads of time–24 hours
every day. Focusing 24/7 on the God who provided is the way to
find a fulfilling holiday season.
I’ve decided to take time to stop and smell the poinsettias- -and find the
— Author Unknown