Posted by michelle on Saturday, December 25, 2010 / Labels: advent
And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Matthew 3: 17 (NIV)
I have a reputation as the over-the-top birthday party girl. Last year, my son turned two, and we had a petting zoo, crafts, face painting, Chik-fil-a, and of course ice cream. I know that I should simplify, and I feel guilty about not, but I have given in. I love it. I love making a huge deal out of his big day. I don’t mind blowing my budget or even decorating fifty cupcakes. I have already started planning for next year’s party, and it is only nine months away.
We make a pretty big deal out of Christ’s birthday too. Stores start putting out decorations right after Halloween. We blow our budgets, we decorate, we send out cards, we cook, we shop, and we overbook our calendars. Sometimes I worry that all the presents and commercialization has cheapened this holiday. That we are so busy that we forget that it is indeed a birth we are celebrating and not that crazy-looking bearded man in a red suit. Every year, I tell myself that I am going to simplify: spend less, commit to less, and rest more. These are valiant resolutions, and occasionally I even keep a few of them.
I don’t think God minds though. It is His Son’s birthday after all, and He is surely a proud Daddy. He didn’t hold back either. No other holiday has more tradition, more events, more decorations, or more presents. The stars even shined brighter. God has never been about stuff, yet three kings from the East brought this tiny baby gold, insense, and myrrh. And I thought my parents spoiled their grandchild! Don’t give those retail stores all the credit, God knows how to celebrate in a big way. It isn’t about all that stuff of course – it is about His Son.
I know this whole season is supposed to be about centering ourselves on Christ during this crazy season, but don’t forget that it is indeed a celebration. Indulge for the day in that. Bake some cupcakes, and break out the ice cream (yes, even in December).
And since Owen is now 5 (and a half he likes to add), I wrote this a while ago.
I’ve toned down on the birthdays. But only a little. There were still pies in the face, water balloon fights and too many little boys to count at the last party.
And I love that it is Christmas day and well after noon and most of us are still in our jammies. On the agenda for the rest of the day is hopefully a nap, some good food, maybe a jog or some dominoes and a movie.
The presents are opened. The rest of the family isn’t showing up until tomorrow. And no one is sending me to WalMart to pick up some last minute items.
But a few hours ago I wondered into an almost empty church with my mother in law. Still littered with candles and programs from the candlelight service the night before. I received communion, again. And awkwardly spent a few minutes at the altar. The preacher’s kids were still in their pjs. One was crawling under the pews and another was screaming from the balcony while I prayed. They were hyped up on cookies and new toys. She tried to quiet them while we prayed. But I kind of liked the noise. It was supposed to be a celebration after all.
Merry Christmas friends, it's not too late for cake. or cookies. or fudge. or pie.....