When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness.
There is something about Christmas that brings out the longing for perfection. If you are anything like me, you have visions of reading Christmas stories by the firelight while peace and good will abound inside the cozy four walls of your Pottery Barn home.
I don’t think that longing will ever go away for me.
What if your family is less like this:
And more like this?
Let’s face it. Perfection is but a distant dream.
I was reminded of this reality recently.
We’ve been enjoying our Advent Box again this year and my boys love opening each door to find out which Christmas activity we will complete each day.
One of our first activities included setting up our Nativity Scene with our beloved figurines that my husband brought home from a missions trip to Africa:
Either there was a sudden earthquake in Bethlehem, or I know a certain 3 year old who thought Mary and Joseph needed a little change of scenery.
Apparently he didn’t get the memo about Christmas perfection.
As a Mom of two busy boys (and one on the way–surprise!), this longing for perfection is a lot like that whole analogy with Jello and nails and a wall. It ain’t gonna happen. (NOTE: This was written a few years ago. The “one on the way” is now a very active, very fun three year old!)
SO what is the answer then? How can we enjoy this season and celebrate it well – imperfection and all?
For me, it’s two words:
- Taking a car ride looking at Christmas lights.
- Making cookies with my kids–even if they are the Pillsbury kind.
- Learning how children in other countries celebrate Christmas.
- Making time to read Christmas books. Lots of them.
- Using our Nativity figurines to act out the Christmas story on Christmas morning. (If they make it until Christmas morning, that is.)
- Savoring our Advent readings every night – while accepting the fact that my boys will likely fight over who gets to blow out the candle until always and forever.
And when one those moments of perfection pop up–as they occasionally do–I soak them up.
Just ignore the peanut butter smeared all over his face, will you?
Oh–and one more thing? That family pictured above…they’re mine. That was the year that my Mom bought us all ugly Christmas sweaters–just for fun.
Like I said–Simple Pleasures.
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