I’m sipping from my “Joy” mug and thinking about this holiday season.
It seems to have jumped out from where it was hiding to say, “You’re it!” Everyone I’ve talked with says the same thing, “How could it be Christmas already?”
• Are we living such a hurried life that we can’t find time to prepare for this sacred holiday?
• Are we so saturated with social media and our online life that we can’t find space to invest in our physical one?
• Are we so carried away by the world’s goods and treasures that we forget the ultimate Treasure?
What’s Happened to Christmas?
What happened to evenings by the fire, family cuddled on the couch reading stories of old? Stories that remind us of God’s love and His precious Gift to us?
Our childhood experiences form our feelings about holidays — they create our love, disdain, or apathy for the holidays.
At the time, I didn’t know my family was teaching me to love “holy days.” My Polish/German immigrant grandparents brought such richness to the Christmas season. Our family’s Catholic traditions were so rich in formality, wonder, and the presence of holiness I can hardly describe it. I felt such awe at the mystery of the season — the calm and reverent recognition of God sending His Son as a babe in a manger. Maybe it was the visionary in me or my writer’s mind – but the Spirit of Christmas came alive in me!
Think back on your childhood. What happened to instill your feelings about this season today? Is there anything you want to change about how you celebrate? What traditions are you giving your children that will carry into their adulthood? Will they remember these days with love, disdain, or apathy?
Have You Thrown Away Childish Wonder?
I love this quote from my daughter-in-law’s grandma, Gigi. Some people tire of Christmas newsletters, but I cherish each one I receive from Eloise! She’s such a gifted writer — and shares exactly what we can gain from this special season. Listen as she travels back over seven decades in childlike wonder!
“Hopefully most of us will be in Christmas mode. You know, the days we scurry about trying to find deals on everything from bicycles to bathrobes. It is when glitter is fashionable. Children squeal and decorated trees take over our living rooms. I try my best to act like an adult during Christmas but that just never works. I become age six every year and wonder why others don’t do the same. I think when a child becomes an adult and throws away all childish things, they give away too much. Some things we all should hold on to. We need to retain some wild-eyed wonder-ment, the belief in miracles and the spirit of Christmas in our hearts every day.”Eloise Cunningham
Hustle and Hurry OR Mystery and Beauty?
In the midst of all the hustle, perhaps we need to ask a few questions.
- Are we missing out on the beauty and mystery in our quest for the latest decor?
- Are we searching for the best cyber-Monday deals and overlooking the real reason we give gifts?
- Can we pause the hustle long enough to consider what this holy day truly signifies, the immense beauty and tragedy of it all?
This season is truly a gift. One we don’t want to overlook. Our world and all it has to offer keeps us so busy we often don’t have time to think — and wonder — and worship.
From the time we step out of bed in the morning to falling back into it at night — we don’t catch our breath. Let alone our thoughts. Thoughts God has for us. Thoughts to consider the good gifts and the holy presence of God Himself sent down to us long ago. Gifts given to us not only on Christmas, but each day.
Quiet Time – It’s Good for the Soul
Long ago, when my children were small and finally in bed, I’d take a bit of quiet time each evening before the lights were clicked off. I’d pause to soak up the decorations on our simple tree, the calm, the serenity of it all. I’d ponder the joy and wonderment of the season. A time of excitement, laughter, and surprises that shined from my children’s eyes and rang from their voices.
Something special stirred in those quiet moments before rolling into bed — moments in the ambiance and solitude of twinkling lights and quiet music.
For some, Christmas isn’t a time of wonder and joy. Which makes me so very grateful for my family’s example. Those early days of wonder helped me soak up the season while I was so busy raising my own family.
I’m certain the Joy I felt came from God who loves me. God, who gave me a family rich in heritage and full of tradition. God, who didn’t want me to lose Him in the midst of all the busyness.
A generous God who gave the best and most lovely Gift of all!
Add a Bit of Magic to the Season!
Without children to add their sweet innocence and anticipation for Christmas, I find it gets harder to deck the halls and light the boughs. After a Christmas party this year, where the host’s house was decorated to the brim — I decided to freshen my own spaces with the spirit of Christmas!
Each time I walk through a room, I’m reminded of the magic. The anticipation of Christ’s coming. I’m reminded to pause — and quietly soak in the mystery and beauty of Jesus coming to earth. Reminded to discover Joy in that tiny God Babe, who literally was born for the Cross!
Find JOY This Christmas
Such a simple thing — the printed word “Joy” on a mug.
A small token and reminder — of Joy come down to us.
A reminder to take time each day to enjoy this season. A quiet moment in the morning. A holy moment in the evening before bed. A pause to consider that Baby and what He has done for me. And for you!
Won’t you join me today? And tomorrow?
“Thank you Lord for helping me remember your good Gift.
For allowing me the space and time to reflect on all You’ve done for me.
To share that quiet mystery with those I live life with.
Thank you for this Gift that brought me new life today — and tomorrow.
The Bible is filled with verses on finding Joy in the Lord!
“And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” Matthew 2:9–10
“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.’” John 15:10–12
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”Psalm 16:11
May we shout for joy over syour salvation, and in the name of our God set up our tbanners!
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13
More posts to encourage you this Christmas!
What’s This About Christmas and Tiny Tim?
This Is Definitely What Christmas is All About, Charlie Brown!