Merry Christmas to you! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas Day with family and friends. We had a fun Christmas Eve with my parents, a leisurely day here with just our family, and dinner with my husband’s family to finish off the celebration of the birthday of the Christ child.
Even Gabbie had a fun day with lots of new toys to chew on.
(and all of them are red!)
I knew I should not have saved soooo much for this last part of the Christmas tour. These are my favorite spaces to photograph in our home, and there are enough pictures here for 3 entire posts! So grab a cup of coffee or hot cocoa and let’s take one last look around the house before Christmas 2017 is only a memory…
The subject of our pastor’s sermon on Sunday was joy. He spoke about how some people embrace Christmas… soaking in each part of it with joy. They are excited for Christmas! 🙂
But other people dread it. He told of a woman whom he overheard in conversation telling how Christmas was just too much work…all the cleaning…the decorating…the shopping…the gift wrapping…the cooking, and then… more cleaning. This particular woman said, “I just don’t know if Christmas is worth it.”
Hold that thought….I’ll get back to it in a minute.
At 1:00 a.m. on Christmas Day (the night before Christmas) I was running the water for my bath before bed. All the gifts were wrapped and under the tree. All the stockings were filled and waiting in the family room. The house was totally decorated and clean (except for vacuuming the room upstairs, but that was okay.)
We had prepared and enjoyed a breakfast-for-dinner with my parents and exchanged gifts with them. And I had just finished making a peppermint ice cream pie to take to my husband’s family celebration on Christmas night. We also had to take chili, but that could wait to be made (and the ingredients had all been purchased.) Everyone in the house had already gone to bed.
I was checking the last few Christmas Eve posts on Instagram when I came across one that the wise Becky Thompson had just posted…
What powerful words to read after the full to overflowing weeks of nonstop preparation for Christmas Day.
Becky went on to write that it did not really matter what was under the tree, (or not) what was cooked for the meals, how things were decorated or wrapped. No matter what. Good job.
For all the cleaning and decorating and shopping and gift wrapping and cooking…good job.
Why do we do all that cleaning and decorating and shopping and wrapping and cooking that makes its way onto our to-do lists during the Christmas season?
Because, as Becky says,
“We care so much about how everyone else experiences Christmas.”
We want to make sure that everyone we love has their best Christmas, and we do everything in our power to help make that happen.
And most importantly…
At the end of the day, at the end of Christmas Day,
we want everyone we care about to feel loved.
That’s why we do it all.
And that…that act of making others feel loved and cared about brings me joy.
Doesn’t it for you as well?
So back to the woman in our pastor’s sermon who wondered if Christmas was “worth it.” My answer is “Most definitely yes, it is absolutely worth it!“
(And even when he said it during church, I was thinking, yes it is so worth it!)
Of course, my pastor’s sermon went in a different direction from what Becky and I were thinking…
His point was if all of the cleaning and decorating and shopping and wrapping and cooking do not bring you joy, then get away from all of that.
And think about the miracle of the Christ child’s birth.
Think about how much God loves us…enough to humble himself and arrive here on our planet as a little baby to show us how to live and love. That should more than bring us joy!
But I am really thinking that our pastor’s sermon and Becky Thompson’s words actually go together.
We should have joy because God loves us so unconditionally that He came to live among us…and we should have joy in loving others…
which, after all, is what He came here to teach us how to do. 🙂I hope your Christmas season was one filled with joy and lots of love. 🙂
It’s late, and I think I will just let you enjoy the rest of the photos of the porch in peace and quiet. 🙂
Merry Christmas dear friends.
Joy to the World!