Thursday, December 24, 2015

What I'm Pondering this Christmas



Merry Christmas!

For me, "Christmas" begins when you wake up Christmas Eve morning and ends when you go to sleep Christmas night. So, I'm writing this post with as much excitement as a five year old.

Probably the most exciting part for me is seeing my family open gifts that they weren't expecting...we have a few of these in store for tomorrow and I'm super excited excited about it.

Also...this year both of my kids really understand what's going on for the first time and that adds a whole other level to Christmas. I'm so excited for them to see their gifts under the tree in the morning, and we've had a lot of fun putting them together as well. As I write this my dad is putting together a giant swing set in the back yard while I keep the kids entertained in the house and John is in the garage constructing a baby doll bunk bed for our littlest)

I think in America, Christmas means so many different things to so many different people. As a Christian, Christmas is first and foremost a celebration of the birth of Christ. I do think that there are other meanings to Christmas that should also be celebrated.

This season is a time for giving. It's not a secret that I'm cheap. But come December I get so excited to spend so much money! Why is this? It doesn't stress me out like it does the rest of the year. I spend so much time thinking about what I can get my friends and family that they will really enjoy. I also spend time thinking of the less fortunate and how I can help them. While part of me wishes I thought this way throughout the whole year...I know that what makes this season special, what makes me want to do these things not begrudgingly, is that it's for a 'season'. I love that Christmas is a time for giving.

Christmas is also a time to be with family. My family lives 30 minutes away and while we see them often, we've seen them so much more over the past two weeks than we normally do. The same goes for John's family. They live about three hours away but we've seen each other 3 times in the past few weeks! Once again, it would be nice if we maintained this throughout the year...but it's also what makes this time of year so unique and special.

I hope today that you are excited about the next 48 hours. I hope that this season has brought you joy and a bit of childlike anticipation. I hope that regardless of your faith, you are able to recognize the magic of this season. And don't forget to give. Spend some time today researching some local and international opportunities. If there was ever a time to give to the United Way, to give to the refugees, to give to the lower income families in your city or town...now is the time. Now is when we will actually do it, while we are caught up in the generosity of Christmas. In a month, in six months, we will be stressed over the details of life and giving will be the last things on our mind. In a season where we give to ourselves (our family, our kids) take a few minutes to pick someone outside of your circle who could use a blessing too.

Merry Christmas!

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