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Mom of five lovely daughters, wife of one dashing man. Born in Utah, grew up in Oregon, live in Georgia.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas spirit


Yesterday didn't go exactly like I had planned. Instead of spending the day in hurried preparations for Christmas I sat on the couch nursing a roaring soar throat. For the first part of the day I was SO stressed. I have cleaning and shopping and wrapping to do and can not afford a lost day. In an attempt to be somewhat productive I crocheted some squares for an afghan I am making, wrote out my grocery list, and tried to inspire my children to "tidy up!". Then I just gave in and watched "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" with my kids. It was great!! We all cuddled up on the couch and had fun just being together. After the day was over I lay in bed thinking about how there are going to be things I'm not going to get done this year, and in that realization it occurred to me that I had been spending too much energy focused on orchestrating the perfect Christmas production instead of really fostering the spirit of Christ in our home. I thought of Mary and the circumstances of our Savior's birth. Nothing was orchestrated perfectly that night. The stable was not decked out in garlands, the meal did not consist of a smorgasbord of sweets, and Mary & Joseph's family was far away. But the glory of that night has only been rivaled by the glory of Christ's resurrection. Christmas has evolved to be about family, about tradition, and about the "spirit of giving", which are all wonderful things. But it didn't start out that way. The first Christmas was focused entirely on Christ and the wonderful miracle of his birth. All of the things we do to celebrate his birth are empty unless they help us remember Him. So, this year my family won't come to an immaculate house. The sweets may not be as abundant as in years past, but I hope that I will be able to share with them my testimony that Christmas is about Christ. I hope that as people enter my home they'll be able to feel my love and gratitude for Him-- which encompasses not only his birth, but his life, atonement, death, and resurrection. I believe in a living Christ, one whose presence I want to feel in my home this Christmas season.

12 comments:

Kami said...

That is such a good post Jessi! I loved it! You are so right about that! And I think you need to relax more. :)

Kami said...

Oh, and thank you for the Christmas card! I love that picture!!

Elaine said...

I know exactly how you feel about trying to orchestrate everything.
I have been trying for years to MELLOW out and Let things flow but it is hard when there is so much to do that I want to do.

Emma said...

What a good reminder.

Angela Draper said...

Thanks for the wonderful reminder of the true meaning of this season :) Merry Christmas!

MiandMiksmom said...

Yes, yes, thanks for keeping things in perspective! It's really hard to not get caught up in it all.

Nisa said...

At first I thought selling a house and living alone, pregnant with two kids was going to seriously kill my Christmas season. But, surprisingly it has simplified our lives. And I'm enjoying the change. We only have so many hands and so I'm much more able to limit our Christmas expressions and we've found that the season really is much simpler than I ever realized.

Matthews Family said...

What a wonderful day and learning experience! If only everyone could gain that perspective.

Michelle said...

I love it!!!! How true! Thank you! I am sorry you are suffering from a soar throat. I am still getting over one. Not fun! I hope you are feeling better! Have fun with Family and just enjoy the time together! Tell Chad and Abbi hi for us! :-)

Elaine said...

I needed to read your post again....More slowly this time with a listening heart, it brought me where We all need to be. Amen
to everything you said. Have a special Holiday and we send our Love to all the family who is with you this season.

Abbi said...

I didn't read this post before I came to visit you, and now that I'm home I'm checking the blogs I missed. And I have to say, I would have never known you felt like your home wasn't "perfectly orchestrated," if I hadn't read this. I felt like your house was extremely clean and the sweets were abundant! :) And I definitely felt the CHRISTmas spirit in your home. Your home seemed perfectly prepared for Christmas to me. Thanks for having us--it was wonderful!

Michelle Pyne said...

Amen to what Abbi just said above! We had a wonderful time being at your home which was FULL of the Spirit of Christ. Thank you for that blog, because it teaches us how to handle the pressures of the season. I will try to remember what you said every year when Christmas comes around!