In case you missed it yesterday, I’m participating in The Nester‘s 31 Days Challenge, so during October I’m going to be writing about 31 Days of Christmas: plan a little now to enjoy it more later. You can see all of the posts here.
I know we’re only on Day 2, but I’m going to start a little bit off topic today by talking about our wedding; I promise I’ll bring it back to Christmas. When we got engaged last year and started planning our wedding, we realized that it would be easy for
us me to get overwhelmed with the planning. So we talked about it and decided that we had three key things that we wanted to do:
- Focus on what’s most important – that we’re getting married. Nothing else about the wedding really matters in the end.
- Bring our families and friends together to celebrate, enjoy being together, and not be stressed.
- Get great pictures. I know it’s not deep…I’m just being honest. After getting married and celebrating with loved ones, the next most important thing to me was pretty pictures. (Thanks Blest Photography!)
So in all of our decision-making for the wedding, we kept these three goals in mind. Did we do some unnecessary things? Sure. But when I started feeling overwhelmed by the decisions and timelines and to-dos, I kept coming back to the fact that Matt and I were going to get married. (God really used this to give me peace when I ended up getting sick on our wedding day; I was laid up in bed with an IV until about 2 hours before the ceremony! I’m so thankful we still got married!)
What does this have to do with Christmas? Like a wedding, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with calendars, schedules, and massive to-do lists. You can get so busy planning that you lose sight of what’s most important and get lost in stuff that doesn’t matter in the end.
So when I started writing these posts about Christmas, I realized that before I could talk about preparing for Christmas I needed to lay out our vision for Christmas. Your focus may be different, but our three overarching keys for Christmas are:
- Focus on what’s most important – that God became a man to save us. We are celebrating His love and sacrifice, and what is more awesome than that? Nothing.*
- Enjoy memorable time with loved ones.
- Share God’s love with others.
When I just wrote those out, my first thought was – that’s too simple. But the reality is that I added to the only thing that matters. Christmas is about Jesus and that’s it.* But as we celebrate God’s love, I want to share that love with others, and I want to do that in community with the people that I love.
As we start dreaming about this year’s Christmas, I want to keep these three goals, this vision for Christmas, in mind. I don’t like calling them goals because I’m very Type-A and if I have a goal I can get tunnel vision when it comes to meeting that goal, and that’s not what I want. This isn’t about crossing one more thing off of the list. It’s about being intentional with the limited time that we have. It’s about concentrating on the activities that will bring us closer to what we’ve decided ahead of time are the more important things.
I’m so excited about what this could mean for me this year!
~ What if I spend more time thanking God for what He’s done for me than I do about stressing about how many different kinds of cookies I need to bake?
~ What if Matt and I focus on creating special, intentional, memorable time with loved ones – with each other, with family, and with friends?
~ What if we give out of our resources to people in need instead of spending money on meaningless gifts for people out of obligation?
That’s what I want for this Christmas. And I want to spend this time of preparation with that simple vision for Christmas.
What about you? What would do you most want Christmas to be for you and your family? Do you have three key things or a vision for what you want your Christmas to be?