Stuff I love about Christmas (so far)

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I know that Christmas can be a stressful time; for me, the most stressful part is always the finances– struggling to find the balance between what I would like to do or get for people and the realistic constraints of my budget.  I don’t always succeed, and then I cause myself undue stress by making things tighter than they should be.

But despite the money tug, I love Christmas time.  I love the feeling.  The excitement.  The spirit of it all.  I admit that it’s getting harder and harder to find amid all the ridiculous “If you can’t get your wife a new car or a diamond something for Christmas, you’ve somehow failed” marketing mentality.  Because –really– that’s just dumb. I actually enjoy some of the bustle and lines at stores, and I feel like most of the people are sincerely out to find things to show love to people they care about.

I love nativity sets.

I love Christmas music.  The good stuff.  There are plenty of “holiday” songs I could do without, but thank goodness for Pandora online radio, which I am constantly streaming in my house.

I love The Messiah.  I probably normally couldn’t convince my husband and children to go sit through a really long choral performance, but when blog friend DeNae mentioned she was participating, I jumped on the reason.  It totally, absolutely put my Christmas heart in the right place.  It was long, and the hour was a little late, and the children were a little restless, but they were so GOOD.  I think they felt and understood the reverence and majesty of it.  Natalie now sings the Hallelujah chorus while she walks around the house, and I love it.

I love the “excuse” of the holiday to express love and appreciation for friends and neighbors, my children’s teachers and leaders, and people who bless my life all the time and often go unnoticed.

I love, love Christmas cards.  It’s like a little walk down memory lane of friends from years and stages past.  I love all the good people God has put in my life and Christmas cards remind me how abundant that blessing is.

I love looking for and finding service opportunities that our family can participate in.  Sub for Santa participation is always fun and rewarding.  Yesterday, the kids and I paid for the meal of someone behind us at a drive-through window, and they loved peeking their heads above the back seat to see the surprised reaction as we drove away.  I just love stuff like that because it feels so … good.

I love chocolate.  I’m on a diet, but still.

I love that this is the only time of the year that snow can fall, and I don’t feel bitter about it.

I love finding simple ways to celebrate.  I’m all about doing things with as little time and money investment as possible.  Like when we drove around our neighborhood and gave out “Best Christmas Lights” awards.  Or when we made cookies just because we had a little time and then drove around to give them to people we maybe didn’t think of the first time around.

I love trying to make the big day as special as possible by doing most of the hard work before it comes.  This is why I actually had my wedding reception the day before my wedding.  And it’s why I do my Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve.  I just like spending the real day in as much relaxed peace as possible.  And leftovers rock.

I love Mary.  I don’t think we ever give her enough credit for how Jesus Christ turned out.  Yes, he was divine.  Yes, he was foreordained.  But she raised him and guided him and helped him become all he was meant to be.  She must have felt an incredible responsibility, and I have no doubt that her initial submission to the Father, “Be it unto me according to thy word,” set the example for all that Christ did throughout his life.

I think the real reason I love Christmas is because I love Christ.  It’s just that simple.  And all the extra attentions at this time of year feel like a way of honoring Him and showing Him how special He is to me and my family.  Because like The Messiah declares, He spent a lot of time being despised, rejected and spat upon, and I guess it feels like there can never be too much praise to pay Him back for all He suffered for me.

So.  Merry, merry Christmas.  I hope you find many things to love, many ways to love, and many opportunities to feel love for the rest of the holiday season.

   “It is proper during this season when we commemorate His birth that we remember the Lord Jesus Christ in reverence and with love. He has done for us what we could not do for ourselves. He has brought meaning to our mortal existence. He has given us the gift of eternal life.
“When all is said and done, when all the legions of the ages have passed in review, when man’s terrible inhumanity to man has been chronicled, when God’s great love for His children has been measured, then above all stands the lone figure of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the world, the Savior of mankind, the living Son of the living God, the Prince of Peace, the Holy One.”  — Gordon B. Hinckley

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13 thoughts on “Stuff I love about Christmas (so far)

  1. I love all these things about Christmas, too. This is the first year in 4 that I haven’t sung at least one song from The Messiah and I have missed it.

    Have the merriest of Christmases, my friend.

  2. Amen!

    P.S. It is a bit scary how alike you and I think. You just wrote my own post. Seriously … the good music, the Messiah (can’t wait to go to another sing along), Mary (I ADORE Luke 2:19), Christmas cards, simple and inexpensive Christmas activities, doing Christmas Eve dinner so you can relax on Christmas, chocolate, service, nativities (that is my Christmas thing!) and focusing on Christ. I think next time I am in your great state we need to finally meet face to face … maybe next summer. You in 😉 ?!?

  3. I’m with you on most of this, but chocolate!!!???? Funny…I’ve decided to look at snow as a continuation of the Christmas season for 6 months. That way I won’t resent it. Thanks for writing. You bring me laughs, thoughts, and joys. 8)

  4. Lovely thoughts, thanks for sharing. Those people in the drive through must have been very surprised! What a cool idea. Wishing your family a wonderful Christmas.

  5. Yes. Thank you, Steph. I wish I was better about gift giving. Greg and I don’t even exchange gifts at all usually and the kids give each other things like hair clips or a rubber ball. Presents are a purely symbolic thing around here, but we love it just the same. I’m still hoping to make some treats for the neighbors, something that is NOT done in Poland. Yes, I’m running a little late, but I’ll still bet we’ll be the first (and last) family bringing goodies to them. 🙂

    I also love the Messiah. The actual Messiah and the one created by Handel. 🙂 Love.

  6. I’ve always wanted to go to a Messiah sing-in! But until the kiddos get a little older, I think I’d have to go by myself. Christmas started for me when I picked a name off the Giving Tree. It also showed the kids that not everyone has it so good.

  7. Oh, good, good, good. Thank you for saying al this good, good stuff. I love Christmassy stuff too. (I esp love the paragraph about Mary. Amen.)
    Happy Christmas, friend!

  8. I love your thoughts here, especially what you said about Mary. I had never thought about it in quite that way before and I think it’s so right.

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