Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's That Time Of Year

Now that Thanksgiving is over I am having a hard time proceeding with business as usual when it comes to Christmas. I have always been a bit of a Christmas curmudgeon, but this year I have felt the "Ebenezer" in me coming on even earlier. Perhaps it's because we went from being bombarded with political ads till election day to being inundated with "He went to Jared" type ads that started the day after or maybe it's because the stores here have been in full Christmas mode since before Halloween. Okay it's not Christmas that I dislike it's all the commercialism that goes along with it, and the frenzied pace our lives seem to take during this time of year... with so much is going on in our world, it all seems a little out of place.

Christmas has to be different for us this year, we have to sort through what is important and what can/should be let go. What can we add to our traditions to make it more about celebrating the birth of our Savior. What can we do to make the season more meaningful

These are some of the things I have considered... being more intentional about the music we listen to, instead of the usual secular Christmas music choose music that is more Christ centered, a great example is Chris Tomlin's  album "Glory in The Highest"...maybe doing a Christmas devotional, something that would help prepare my heart for the season....perhaps even observe Advent....something we haven't done in years. Spend less time in stores!!!

We will continue to do certain things, I want to bake with the grandchildren, attend Candle Light service at church, and care group Christmas party. We enjoy going out and looking at lights and Christmas decorations (although I will enjoy YOUR decorations more than I will enjoy dragging mine out of the attic...did I just say that?) Not to worry, we will decorate, the tree will be put up and I will enjoy it, really, I will. I just don't want to lose focus about what the season is really about....praying for a more Christ focused Christmas.

                                                       How do you keep Christ In Christmas?


Debbie said...

Oh I hear you...it is a goal that becomes more pressing and needful every year. Soo hard to keep the focus living in the world we do. I try to make it all about special programs at church, and music (like you) and giving to those who are so needy. Yet I do like the traditional family time celebrations and time spent with the grands etc. We have cut gift giving soo down it is practically none existent except for homemade items and toys for the little ones. Loved the advent calendar my daughter found that journaled Joseph and Mary and their trip to Bethlehem rather than the usual days of shopping till Santa.

Hope you are enjoying your day!

Kathy ... aka Nana said...

Funny, we too are trying to weed out the non-essential at Christmas ... to keep our focus on the "reason for the season". Instead of buying a ton of gifts, we've chosen to buy one special gift (at about 1/3 of the cost of all that we used to buy) for each grand and send what we "saved" to Samaritan's Purse to help those truly in need (the grands have added things like clean drinking water, Bibles, chicks to their Christmas wish lists). We're keeping the traditions that focus on relationships - cookie baking with DD and the grands, Christmas Eve candlelight service, getting together with friends and neighbors, etc.

I'll be interested in seeing what others do as I'm sure that there's still more that we can do to narrow our focus on the Christ.

Marla and Steve said...

Great post. We've scaled back again this year and I'm loving the simplicity of home. Very few decorations have made a big impact and it's so surprising. Two trees and not one ornament on them!

We do go all out for our kids because they are all at that young and broke stage of their lives. We "do" the small things that they can't fit in their budget. Remember being so young and even pretty undies or earrings seemed like a major purchase?

I love everything about Christmas. I love it that the world can see that we are focusing on Him. There is no other way to celebrate Christmas because stuff will come and go in our lives, but He will always be there.

Pamela said...

I think as we age we see the importance of making Christmas more about the reason. One thing we have practiced through the years is to attend a Christmas play or program that we haven't touched. As music minister and children's director for years and responsible for every program we chose a production that we could just sit and soak in the wonder of God's gift. Another way I cut back is by just baking everyone's favorite candy or cookie. We've also cut out going to my parents now that we have grandchildren of our own. We had a lovely quiet Christmas with my parents at Thanksgiving. I've loved reading this and even the comments and feel a renewed desire for all of my celebrations to focus on Christ.

Janette's Sage/Simply Your Decor said...

Our pastor addressed all of this Sunday on the first day of Advent. We are doing just like you...I haven't even been in the stores and there aren't any Christmas gifts bought. We are enjoying the simpleness and reading and reading about Christ. Intentionally filling my stocking with what isn't materialism.

Sassy Granny ... said...

We pared down Christmas a number of years ago. We rarely shop, preferring to have an experience instead. For the teen grandchildren will give them money (they're pretty picky).

Mostly we stay close to home, interact with family & friends, host dinners and relish the best of Hallmark movies. Stress has given way to wonderment.

Camille said...

We keep it simple too Maryann. I hate the commercialism of this time of year and seek to stay as far away from the Mall/Costco/Etc as I can!! :) We do celebrate Advent and read the Scriptures with the children pertaining to the LORD's first coming. We sing and play Christmas Carols and sit by a roaring fire with friends and family. It's a wonderful time of year...what a blessing to know the ONE to Whom it all belongs!! HE is Precious!

Blessings to you!