This Christmas was different than Christmases past. Yes, it was Max’s first Christmas… but it was more than that. There were no Christmas presents under the tree… there was no running around on Christmas day. No chaos, no confusion, no drama. Can you imagine… a drama free holiday lol.
Early this year Jimmy and I made the decision not to exchange Christmas gifts since we knew we would have so much going on in the 4th quarter of the year. This was a hard decision… Jimmy is Mr. Christmas. He begins buying Christmas presents on December 26th and is almost always half way through by April. Its insane. I’ve gotten better over the years and am usually done around August. But with a new baby on the way and me quitting my job to be a stay at home mommy, we knew that the holidays would likely be a bit overwhelming and decided we would simplify. This was a great financial decision… and an even better spiritual decision.
Now don’t think I realized this when making the decision…oh no, I’m not that holy. As a matter of fact I spent Christmas morning sipping coffee, watching the Disney Parade and pouting because there were no presents to open. It wasn’t until a few days later that I realized how wonderful our Christmas actually was. In between sips of coffee and feeling sorry for myself I would get so angry. Why was the absence of presents so upsetting to me. I received so much this year. I had a wonderful healthy pregnancy. I had a life changing euphoric natural birth. I got to hold my precious baby boy in my arms for the first time. I was able to quit my job so I can spend every day with my son. I was able to grow and develop my marriage even more, and celebrate 10 years of wedded bliss. I made friendships and developed others to new depths… and every day I get to wake up knowing that a savior gave his life so I might live… Forever. Seriously… why was I so upset over the absence of presents.
I cant give you a good answer. It did upset me… but I now realize that what I did was give myself the opportunity to reflect and bask in the real reason for Christmas.
As a Christian Christmas is a day to celebrate the birth of a savior. Have you ever thought of it like that… the day the one person who could save you was born (not necessarily on that day, but the day we celebrate it none the less). Imagine you are hanging on cliff… the only thing keeping you there is a string off your shirt hung up on a rock. You cannot reach the edge and below you is miles of jagged rock… certain death. And some random dude comes in on a helicopter and rescues your dumb butt… I’d say that’s cause for celebration. I doubt you’d be very concerned with gifts that Christmas… So why don’t we celebrate every Christmas with that kind of fervor? Why aren’t we so thankful and overwhelmed every year that the gifts don’t matter? I had to face this question as I sat pouting on my couch Christmas morning. Why couldn’t I be so overcome with gratitude that God sent a person, in flesh, to save me…
Christmas day was confusing for me. A moment by moment battle between my flesh and my spirit… but I am thankful for our simple Christmas. Now, I love gift giving. I love gift giving just as much as I love gift receiving… and yes, we plan to exchange gifts in the future… but I pray that every year I am able to examine why we celebrate. Why we get excited every year. Is it the presents?