As Christmas approaches, I find myself listening to more music on the birth of Christ, music on the divinity of Jesus while in human form, music on Him coming back again. I don’t want to get caught up in the busyness and the worldliness of the season.  The tree and its trimmings, the cookies and its sprinkles , the gifts and its wrappings. This seems like just a short season between Thanksgiving and the 25th of December.

4 short weeks and not enough time for parties at schools and offices and plays and productions at churches. This year neither of the kids are in the Christmas play, and so no practices. But… little miss Christina wanted to make cookies for her classmates (14 including her teacher). So I did. But I didn’t want to give them only a cookie, I wanted to make at least 4-6 cookies each, plus fudge, plus chocolate bark , plus cake pops!!!! I ended up making 4 batches of cookies, plus a batch each of all the rest. The cookies came out well, and held their shape, but decorating them was a pain. The cake pops were easy to make and quite a few disappeared into the family’s bellies before I had a chance to pack them. The bark was all right but not what I wanted though. The fudge didn’t set at all after a week in the freezer so I ended up eating soft, squishy coffee- chocolate – marshmallow crème mixture for the next week. Christina helped me for a few minutes at a time before losing interest and going to play with play doh or kinetic sand. On the other hand, she loved handing out the goody bags to her friends.

In the midst of all this, we bought a new Christmas tree and ornaments ( we had to get rid of our old one and all ornaments and all the kids’ crafts when we moved here this June), put it up and had it trip and fall twice already, and we managed to put it up again! The kids have things planned in their school for the winter parties and I’m making cupcakes for that as well.

So….. where’s the part where you hear about the true meaning of Christmas? It’s here. I’ve learnt through the last year, to be present with my kids in the present (pun fully intended 🙂 ) and be content and grateful while making memories. So I’ve organized play dates for Christina, made alphabets and numbers in play doh for Adam, invited C consistently to the kitchen before making goodies and let A watch his favourite shows a little longer among other things. I’ve also tried to be kinder to Raj and been less demanding and allowed him to have his space, and then join him in the evenings when he’s invited me to watch something.

So….music. I’m listening to the ones that praise and adore and honour God. The ones that give Him glory. This year, I’ve been unmoved by the standard Christmas songs. I don’t want a white Christmas or Frosty, thank you very much!. Not truly interested in Santa’s list. Haven’t tasted chestnuts, so not going to miss the aroma roasting on a fire. I don’t mind the sound of bells, so those songs are hear-able. I would love to be with my family right now ,but for a variety of reasons I can’t, so I’ve made my peace with it and have learnt to be content with the way that things are. This is just me folks, for the year we’ve had ( remind me to tell you about that soon), I want to turn my eyes and focus and attention and give my time to Him.

The One who chose to come here for me , who willingly took on flesh and the resulting pain and limitations that come with it. The One who for 30 years, lived a faithful life, and didn’t see much fruit. The One who used that time to prepare Himself and to commune with the Father, so that a public ministry of 3 1/2 years would never stop reaching people. The One who by His birth and life and death and resurrection would change the order of all things, and make those who believe in Him new.

The One who is God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. The One who is Jesus Christ, God’s only son, our Lord. The One who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, who was born of the virgin Mary. The One who suffered under Pontius Pilate, who was crucified, died and buried. The One who descended to the realm of the dead. The One who rose again on the third day. The One who ascended into heaven. The One who is seated at the right hand of the Father. The One who will come again to judge the living and the dead. The One who is the Holy Spirit. ( taken from the Apostles’ Creed).

Woman with Bible in clouds.

Someone asked me recently, if I have the Christmas spirit yet. When I answered her, I honestly said “No”. This in spite of putting up the tree and getting the gifts wrapped and baking cookies. So I’ve been pondering the meaning of “Christmas spirit”. What’s going to put me in the “mood” if I’ve got all the trappings up, and don’t feel it yet?

So I have to choose to fill my heart with Him. Just as He chose me first. This Christmas I’m trying to remember it’s because of Him, I have something to celebrate. I’m trying to remember He needs to be foremost in my heart and mind or everything else is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.  I hope you’ll be able to do the same.  Remember Christ is the reason for Christmas. The Gift from heaven who has gifted us with grace and salvation and eternity with Him.

Merry Christmas to you and yours from our family. May you be filled with His love, His joy and His presence. May your hearts be calm and peaceful, and the moments and hours with your family  be filled with laughter and gaiety. May you know intimately how wonderful and how beautiful in His eyes you are. May you know your worth to Him. May you know absolutely that you are His, His seal is on you, and His banner over you is love.

Blessings to you friend,

Love Vanessa.