Here, come share a cup of hot tea with me!

Prayer CornerMan, is it cold!  It’s about 5 right now, with a wind chill. (I don’t even want to know what that wind chill is. Truly ignorance is bliss in this situation.)  SO, come on in, sit down here in my cozy little library and have a cup of tea with me.  (Or java, if you’d rather. There’s still some Trader Joes in the pot, I’m sure.)

There is even a little bit of Black Bottom Smoosh left from Squish’s 4th birthday this past weekend.  (They used to be cupcakes, but someone efficiently put them all in a Ziploc bag and crammed them into the bread box…hence “Smoosh.” It’s not a pretty sight.)

It’s funny how this time of year makes so many of us women rage and fuss at ourselves, our kids and sometimes even strangers.  I saw a woman in Target the other night that was just so frustrated with herself.  She was mumbling about what an idiot she was and I watched her make several calls, all trying to find that PERFECT gift that she mistakenly thought was at Target. She was just berating herself no end.  I felt so badly for her.

Last night, I got an email from a friend that is frantic that she isn’t going to be able to get everything done in time for Christmas.  Today, I received an invitation to a chat with a friend that is struggling with not being able to give her kids the kind of Christmas a “good mother” would give them. She was concerned that it was already too late and the opportunity had passed her by.

It’s only the 10th!!!

Several years ago, we were traveling late on Christmas Eve.  I can’t tell you how many houses we passed that had lights on, and you could see moms up wrapping or working in the kitchen.  (We’re talking 2 – 4 am!!) I understand we want to bless our families with a precious holiday memory, but I have to wonder, are we trying to bless them with the right stuff rather than the right stuff?

Did you find the tea you wanted?  I hope so – the tea cabinet is full of flavors!  (I even have a little – not much – of the wonderful jasmine tea Violet sent me!  I’m pretty stingy with it, but since it’s such a cold night, I will share it. Surely I will be rewarded in heaven for such a gift!)  🙂  Good, let’s sit down here by the tree and chat about celebrating Christmas.

Let’s start with a list of holiday lies we have likely to have believed at one time or another.

Lie: The holiday celebration has to be perfect.

Truth:  Christmas is one day that will come and go.  Most likely you aren’t stressing over how you will honor March 16th or June 23rd.  Somehow we have believed that how we celebrate that one day determines something about our love for Jesus.

How we celebrate it has nothing (really) to do with our love for, our adoration of,  nor our desire to worship our Lord.  We may have a precious tradition that blesses all our family members – or we may flounder around every year – but the real issue isn’t the ONE day.  We have 364 other days to demonstrate our love for the King of kings.  If we blow it this Christmas, *shrugs* it will be okay. Honest!

Lie: Christmas is the most precious memory a child has.

Truth: Wow, how sad is THAT?  How does one decide which Christmas holds the position of MOST venerable?  Are there parameters that a child uses to measure the success – or lack thereof- of the holiday?

What about the time you all went camping by the river and Sonny fell in?  Wearing Dad’s favorite brand new ball cap…that faded bright blue all over his hair and face? Can’t THAT be a precious memory?  Or what about that time you were sitting in the living just talking about how much you loved the Lord and the presence of the Holy Spirit came and was all over everyone? That should surely qualify!

Yes, Christmas CAN be a precious memory – but most likely it’s one of many.  If not, forget striving to make Christmas so highly esteemed and begin striving to create a lifetime of precious memories together as a family.

I have friends who absolutely REFUSE to do Christmas with their mom, because she can’t keep from going overboard.  Even at the risk of not having her children celebrate with her, she can’t stop!  😦  It’s time we set one another free when it comes to the celebration of Christmas. (or anything else for that matter.)

Yes, we want to have a delightful holiday – but we need to wisely define delightful.  Last year, we had THE simplest celebration we have EVER had.  It was also the most holy.  We didn’t work to make it holy.  We didn’t work to make it memorable.  We didn’t work to make it “perfect.”  We just worked to make it “Clark.”

When the kids said, “Can we have a Christmas JUST LIKE last year?”  I said, “Probably not.  But, we’ll have a good one none the less.”  Each year is unique – just like each year of our lives is unique.  Accept the season you’re in and receive it with joy.  It will be so much less stressful!  For you and for them!

The final concern I want to share is this – when our minds are so taken up with what to buy, who to buy for, when to wrap, bake, clean and do other amazing holiday things, it can’t be given over wholly to meditating on the Word or on the Lord.

When the gifts are all unwrapped, the cookies all eaten, the tree taken down and all the decorations put away, we will not want to find that the One we desired to honor has become a secondary thought, hidden behind all the holiday stuff that consumed our thoughts, time and energy.  Don’t allow the busyness of this life to keep you from giving yourself to the RIGHT stuff this season – it happens so easily and quickly!  I should know.  I’ve done it, for years.  Just not this one.

Oh look, my cup is empty.  Time to get a refill.  Seems like a good time to quit.

(P.S. Yes, this really is my library and my favorite little corner for reading, chatting and praying.  See my mug is right there!  It really does have Jasmine tea in there – can you see the handle from the tea spoon?  Many thanks to Danica for her photo skills!)

2 Responses to “Here, come share a cup of hot tea with me!”
  1. April says:

    Amen, Amen, Amen, my sistah in faith!! We are doing COMPLETELY paired down Christmas this year. As in, there is a kids nativity set and an Advent wreath out and that’s it. We’re going to put up a tree on Christmas eve and we’re decorating it with cranberries, popcorn and homemade snowflakes, but only IF we get them made in the next few weeks. It’s been lovely so far and I feel so close to the Lord, compared to other years. This Love He’s sent/ is sending into the world is Big Enough to be the entire celebration, I’ve decided.

    And besides, hardly anyone was ready the first time Love came down. He still came. And He will again. Happy Advent and Merry Christmas, dear one!

  2. javadawn says:

    Hey Miss April!! I hope you noticed that there are both Constant Comment AND Peppermint in my tea cabinet. I hope you got some of both. 🙂

    Isn’t it amazing how easily those expectations we put on ourselves weigh us down? Once I started seeing them, I was astounded that I would CHOOSE such bondage, but choose I did. MAN!

    It’s one thing to have someone else lay them on us, that is hard enough – but when it’s something I am putting on myself?! 🙄

    I think that it’s fabulous that you’re having such a cultural holiday. I mean, the French have been waiting until Christmas Eve to decorate their trees forEVAH! How very au courant of you! 🙂 🙂

    I love your statement, “This Love He’s sent/ is sending into the world is Big Enough to be the entire celebration” To that I say, “Preach it Sistah!” 😀

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