Sunday, December 23, 2012

How to have the Best Christmas Ever . . .

As I write this post, it is 3 days until Christmas.  This has been an odd Christmas season here at Past Blessings Farm . . . my husband, who has always taken 10 days off during the Christmas season, every year since we were married almost 22 years ago, has to work both Christmas Eve and Christmas this year.  Two of our sons have to work on Christmas Eve.  Yesterday, while baking in the kitchen, our cupboard fell of the wall . . . yes, I told you it is an odd season.  It scared me half to death and left me with a sore shoulder, wrist and hand after being clobbered by it.  Our kitchen is now full of displaced spices, extracts and baking supplies in various cardboard boxes all over the counter.  Last week, in a terrible wind storm, much of our roofing blew off and our Christmas lights became rather "abstract" to say the least.  I had jury duty during the main prime of holiday preps and managed once again, to over commit myself to church, family and friends.  I need to learn the art of saying "No" once in a while.
 
Husbands working on Christmas can frustrate us wives!
All that being said, it is easy to not be in the Christmas spirit . . . in fact I have kind of been throwing myself a bit of a pity party . . . although no one seemed to want to attend except me, so it quickly became boring.  So I began to think about it . . . about the funk I was in, why I was in a funk and how to get out of the funk.  The "funk" was disappointment, which translated to no Christmas spirit.  Why was I disappointed? Because I had expectations that were not being met.  I was dreaming of our perfect Christmas . . . the family gathered around the tree Christmas morning, reading the Bible story, laughing at our goofy stocking stuffers, eating cinnamon rolls, eggs and bacon, opening gifts, later sharing an amazing meal of pork tenderloin with all the fixings.   My dreams did not include people working and kitchens falling apart.  But that, I realized, was the lot I had been cast.  So I could continue with my pity party, or I could put on my big girl panties and instead choose joy. 
 
Stop the pity party and choose joy this Christmas!
So I decided upon the latter.  Which meant I needed to re-evaluate.  So this won't be the Christmas I dreamed of . . . can't it still be special?  And just what is it that makes Christmas special?  Thus began the list . . . of course top at the list is the reason for the season . . . celebrating the birth of a saviour.  Had that changed?  Even if Ron and the boys are working, isn't Christ still on the throne and aren't I still eternally grateful for his gift of salvation?  Okay, so that is still there.  Christmas still has it's significant meaning.  Another reason Christmas is special . . . family time.  Okay, so we are meeting with my side of the family on the 23rd.  Not really a "real" holiday day, but a special "set apart" time never the less.  Only part of the family can make it to Ron's side of the family Christmas celebration on the 24th, but let me be thankful for those that can.  And, did I mention Ron's Dad and step-Mom came to dinner last night?  It was a lovely time.  Doesn't that count too?  On Christmas Day my parents will come to our home and all the boys will be there.  We will have a delicious pork tenderloin dinner together.  It will be a wonderful day.  Yes, Ron will be gone, but come 7 pm when he returns home, we can enjoy time with him as well.  We will open our stockings late Christmas eve . . . not Christmas morning, but we will laugh at the goofy treasures and make memories just the same.  We will open our Christmas gifts Christmas Evening . . . not late Christmas morning . . . but we will appreciate each ones thoughtfulness and effort just as much regardless of the time of day.  We will choose joy.

My kitchen will still look homely.  The cardboard boxes of baking supplies will still be there.  But we will work around it and the kitchen will be filled with heavenly aromas.  We will look at the homely boxes and destroyed cupboard and realize a funny memory was made . . . the time Mama was almost crushed by a cupboard while innocently putting her cooking spray away after baking a cake.  
 
Tonight we go to dinner with great friends . . . last week were invited to another dinner with more great friends.  Regardless of the timing, we have amazing friends and are so blessed to have the love of so many.  On New Years Eve we will ring it in with people we hold dear and celebrate the coming blessings with these dear friends.
 
So, as I anticipate this years Christmas, I have laid down my disappointment and instead embraced change and am Thankful for the blessings I have.  This may very well be the best Christmas ever because regardless of anything else the following is still true:

1. Jesus is our saviour and His gift of salvation is as true as ever.  For that I am eternally grateful.

2.  My family is still here . . . loving each other and caring for one another.  Timing may change, circumstances may not be ideal, but the love has never changed. 

3.  My home is still home sweet home.  It may have a roof without shingles and a kitchen that is crumbling, but living here, in this beautiful location nestled in the rolling wheat fields, I know I am so blessed.  This truly is "God's country" and be it ever so humble, there really is no place like home.

4.  My friends are amazing.  They love me when I am unlovable, let me whine and set me straight from time to time when I need it.  They are not fair weather friends, but are friends that stick with me through the good, the bad and the ugly.  I am so truly blessed to have them.

5.  A new year is coming!  And hopefully, next year, Ron can be home for Christmas!  But either way, all that I have and need God has provided.
 
So look at your life in the light of truth . . . God has provided all that you need.  May your Christmas be the best . . . it is not a matter of circumstances, but a matter of the heart.  Turn your heart toward God and have a blessed Christmas!