Our family has a 14 month old so in order to keep him safe and keep our sanity, we decided to only set up a small Christmas tree this year. At first the other kids were upset that we would not have all of the ornaments out and things would not be “normal” like “other years”, but we pressed forward and I am glad that we did.
Changing to this small tree and making just the small area of decorating much more simple, caused me to really think about the first Christmas – the one where Christ was born. He came to earth in a simple way. In a manger. Wrapped in strips of cloth. No fancy ornaments, decorations, perfect outfit, coordinated family photo, banquet or other “must haves” of Christmas in today’s world. Scaling back caused me to think about this in a new way. If that first Christmas was so simple, why does this Christmas have to be so complicated, detailed, planned, etc.
I have been called to simplicity at a certain time in my life – right before I turned 40. I had this “moment” where I realized when I am doing something (such as planning a party or event or even a family outing or meal) I need to make my plan, scale it back and scale that back one more time. That process has been a huge help to me during the past few years.
So this Christmas what can you eliminate from the “must haves” so that you can reflect on what is really important? Is it extra gifts, events, deadlines, or self imposed accomplishments? Try to take time to enjoy your family and friends, connect with your loved ones and with Christ. He is the best gift of all and He simply wants to connect with you.