Over Thanksgiving, I was visiting family in Florida and over the weekend, we started the process of decorating the house. More like, it was our job to bring the decorations and tree up from downstairs in preparation for my stepmother’s decorating extravaganza. By the time she’s done, the house will be photo shoot ready – Christmas coming out of every nook and cranny in an explosion of holiday cheer. H Her decorations are elaborate and worthy of many Pinterest holiday inspiration posts.
And then there’s my house. For the past few years, if I get a tree up at all, it’s a miracle. I want to, but then I don’t, and I procrastinate. But this year, I am patting myself on the back that my Christmas tree is up and decorated earlier than ever. The house is getting close to done, yet…not Christmas home tour worthy, the tree is up, lights are on the outside of the house (thanks to my hubby), and there’s only a small explosion of decorations lying in my living room. I already have Christmas cards in the mail and most of my shopping done. I’m honestly not quite sure how I made so much progress so early. I must be missing something…
We often get so caught up in decorating, and parties, and the cookies, oh…the cookies, that we lose sight that Christmas is a time to come together as families. One of the challenges that comes with adulting is splitting up time so that you can spend the maximum time with the maximum number of people. This is not a new challenge for me. My parents split up when I was young and hence I began the balancing act at holidays.
All in all, we balanced the holidays well, but it always involved a back and forth. Now that I’m a grown adult, with full grown adult children, the balance becomes like a Jenga game. I will say that their father and I have navigated sharing the kids on the holidays well, but what would they say? One of my boys is not a fan of the juggle. I get it. In an ideal world, it would be easier if everyone were in one spot, at least one city. But even when they are, there’s still a mad dash. Breakfast here, dinner there…if we’re not careful we start to lose the point.
Which is connection. Maybe a different way to look at where you spend your holiday time is, who do you want to connect with? Do you want Christmas to be a logistical nightmare, or do you want to connect to your people. For some of us, that’ll be family, for others, it’ll be close friends. Whoever it is, the connection is what matters. Not having a perfectly decorated house or making an amazing meal – although food is always a plus – it’s about the time spent together.
Who will you connect with this Christmas? How can you make a choice to dial down the crazy in exchange for peace and heart connections? Will you create your own traditions that create peaceful celebrations and a time to reflect on why we celebrate Christmas in the first place, Jesus. Because if you could ask Him, I’m certain He would want us to have connection and love for each other this Christmas. If we focus on that, the rest of the details will fall into place.