"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;"
Eph 5:25

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Reflections from Christmastime

My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. (Exodus 33:14)

Christmas ...

Children ...

Marriage ...

Family ...

I want to take a few moments to reflect on this Christmas.  Particularly the way our family dealt with the season and the holiday.


  • First, for a variety of reasons we didn't have any money this year.  It has happened before, but never to the extent that we were this year.  We did manage to scrape together enough loose change to fill up my small car so I could drive to work until December 21, which happened to be pay day, and the beginning of my 11 - day vacation.
  • The tree was artificial.  It was the one we bought last year when we were displaced from Tropical Storm Lee.  It didn't cost anything, and even though the kids wanted a live tree, they were thankful and happy to decorate and light the lights.
  • The gifts we bought were simple and inexpensive, for the most part.  We didn't do the usual "every-kid-has-to-have-an-equal-number-of-packages-to-open" thing that usually plagues our household at this time of year.  We bought gifts that our kids needed, regardless of the cost or size of package. 
  • We did worship differently this year.  Instead of the quiet, contemporary services our children are used to, we attended midnight mass at a large Episcopal cathedral in my old college town.  A million memories came flooding back as we sat, surrounded by a large pipe organ and strings, soloists, and the providential presence of a dear old friend whose Christmas was made a little merrier because we were able to catch up (our's too).
  • It is now a few days after Christmas, and our presents remain at home, unopened.  Our children have been raised up without the interference of Santa Claus, so they weren't expecting a tree-full of gifts on Christmas morning.  
  • We relaxed this week, not rushing from one place to another, not shopping for missing items to round out everyone's gift pile.
Of course there are things we didn't  do that we wanted to do, but all things considered Christmas was a success.

Stepping out of the routine makes a better holiday.

We decided early on that we would spend Christmas with my wife's family.  While the kids were a little upset about being away from home on Christmas Eve and morning, I'm glad I made the decision to get us away from home and the stress.  It was good for the kids to be with their cousins and grandparents.  It was good for my bride to be away from the stress of her homeschool curriculum and lesson plans.  It was good for us as a couple to be relatively stress-free, if only for a few days. 

What did you do this Christmas that worked well for you and your spouse?  Did you step out of your routine and do something different?  Did you simplify or complicate the holiday?  What worked?  What didn't work?  what would you do differently next year?

Make a plan, write it down, and save it for next year.  Then stick to the plan and see what happens.  You'll be blessed, for sure.