A Break from Gift Guides: Preparing my heart for Christmas
I love Christmas, but struggle with perfectionist tendencies over trying to find the perfect gift, the perfect Christmas card, etc. I also drive everyone close to me a little crazy in the process. These past few weeks I've had a cold, so now I'm a little behind, which is making everything a bit worse than usual. The husband has now caught the cold from me, and I realize I haven't taken had the opportunity to savor the season and all of its joy.
Sunday night the husband left for a business trip, so I went about making strawberry jam for co-workers. I didn't read the directions carefully enough, and it is more of strawberry syrup. Definitely not something that I will be giving to anyone anytime soon lately. But, who really cares? No one else has at my work even bothers with that sort of thing. I decided to clean up the mess, and I'm just going to spend the rest of these precious few days enjoying the season.
For some inspiration, because I'm sure you are even more frazzled than me, I thought I'd share a few quotes from Shauna Niequist's Bread and Wine. The chapter where she talks about Christmas really helps my spirit, and is something I want to think about in the coming days: Either I can be here, fully here, my imperfect, messy, tired but wholly present self, or I can miss it- this conversation, this time around the table, whatever it is-because I am trying, and failing, to be perfect, make the meal perfect, ensure the gift is perfect. But this season I'm not trying for perfect. I'm just trying to show up, every time, with honesty and attentiveness... Let's be courageous in these days. Let's choose love and rest and grace. Let's use our minutes and hours to create memories with the people we love instead of dragging them on one more errand...Let's honor the story-the silent night, the angels, the miracle child, the simple birth, with each choice that we make. My prayer is that we'll find ourselves drawn closer and closer to the heart of the story, the beautiful, beating heart of it all, that the chaos around us and within us will recede, and the most important things will be clear and lovely at every turn...I pray that we'll live with intention, hope, and love in this wild season and in every season, and that the God who loves us will bring new life to our worn-out hearts this year and every year, that we'll live, truly and deeply, in the present, instead of waiting, waiting, waiting for perfect.
I'll probably still be talking about gifts and other frivolous things, but in this next week, I'm going to try to focus on preparing my heart for Christmas.