Christmas Craze and Holiday Haze: Part 2

So I want to blog about busyness…the irony is I was too busy to blog about it last week and honestly, I’m really too busy to be doing it right now. Like I said, ironic.

Here’s the deal…we’re all too busy. All the time. And so when the extra celebrations, get-togethers, concerts, and parties begin to pile up; when the baking and shopping and decorating find their way onto our to-do lists; we blame Christmas. “This time of year is always so busy!” Well, of course it is! We’ve just added another helping or two to our already overly full plates! Listen, it isn’t Christmas’s fault!

holiday-stress

So now that you have learned to just breathe and simply be kind (Christmas Craze and Holiday Haze: Part 1), here’s tip number 3 – slow down. I know, you just rolled your eyes at me, but I’m being serious. I have yet to discover a way to enjoy the Christmas season quickly or rushed. It just doesn’t happen. All good things must be slowly savored, and Christmas is the best of things.

Slowing down is something you have to fight for though. It won’t just happen on its own. You have to choose lazy Saturdays decorating and baking as a family. You have to let go of the work project in order to celebrate our Savior with friends. You might have to let company come over even if the house isn’t clean and choose relationship over reputation. You may have to use that last vacation day so you can carefully shop for the perfect present instead of quickly buying the first item that will do. And I KNOW you have to slow down to actually allow the truth of a Savior in a stable and a King come down from his throne to sink in and move us, maybe even change us.

It might be clich√© to talk about the “reason for the season” but nevertheless, it’s true. In our busyness, we lose sight of Jesus. We lose sight of the meaning of Advent and the eager expectation and desperate longing for a savior (we’ll tackle that more next week in part 3). We forget what matters most isn’t the trees and twinkle lights, the wreathes or bows, the gifts or goodies, the concerts or caroling. No, it is Jesus. It always has been and always will be all about Jesus. Emmanuel. God WITH us. Incredible. Heaven truly came down at Christmas. Our task today is to join in bringing Heaven down each and every day. We simply cannot do that in a hurry. We won’t notice the Holy Spirit at work in or around us in a rush.

shepherds

But if you just HAVE to hurry, if you just MUST be in a rush; may I suggest we take a cue from the shepherds. For they were in a hurry once too. Luke 2 describes the Christmas story we all know so well. The shepherds hear of Jesus’ birth from a host of angels and are terrified (can you blame them!). Once they gather themselves, the shepherds say to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” They¬†hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in a manger. (Luke 2:15b-16, emphasis added).

christmas

So this holiday season, slow down. Watch the snow fall. Listen to Christmas music. Enjoy a hot drink by a warm fire. Take in a favorite Christmas movie with the family. Schedule a random vacation day, sleep in, shop leisurely, bake joyfully. Slow down and give thanks for “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord – has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” (Luke 2:10-11) But if you must be in a hurry, hurry towards Jesus.

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