There are just 16 days until Christmas arrives.
Are you ready to have a panic attack or does this heighten your anticipation?
Christmas looks different to all of us depending upon our circumstances.
I remember re-runs of an old PBS sitcom….”Keeping Up Appearances.” The main character, Hyacinth Bucket, was overly concerned about looking good to the “important” people of the world. She wanted those of her “stature” in life or less, to see her as impeccable in every way, equal to those of wealth and high social standing. She even went so far as to pronounce her last name as “bouquet” in a very affected voice. The show focused on her escapades in keeping up this appearance of propriety and “place.”
You know….for many of us….Christmas is like that too.
Many times we are so concerned about the appearance of Christmas….entertaining, gifts, decor, etc., that we lose the importance of Christmas. At the very least….there is a tension between the commercial and social aspect of the holiday and the true meaning of Christmas.
Just to set things straight…the very last thing I want to do is to guilt you. That is the furthest thing from my mind.
This year as I sit in someone else’s home. As I decorate someone’s tree. I could very much get caught up in appearances and worry about what you will think of me. It’s so easy to do.
But, that’s not good for either of us.
Home decor is a big part of what I write about here on the blog.
I create and share my creations. It’s something that I love to do. I’m not Martha Stewart, but I do love the challenge of digging in and making something…often without spending a dime. Or maybe just a dime. My goal is to inspire you to look around at what’s available to you…in your home…in your yard…or along your hiking path…and use it to create something beautiful to enhance your home.
I’ve been managing to do that, while not living in my own home, for the past three months.
The day after Thanksgiving….it became more than difficult for me to do. Emotions started rising to the surface. I became aware that I was grieving. Some days are very good and productive and some days are difficult.
Christmas started to look different to me. I became aware of the “bleak midwinter” – though it officially isn’t even winter, yet. As a gal who loves to decorate for Christmas in every room of the house and usually does so at a feverish pace, I am finding myself staring into the manger a bit more.
In the past I felt that my decorating was a form of worship. A celebration of the greatest gift ever. It was a time when my creativity soared. And because God is so amazingly creative I really felt like I was blessing him. I knew I might go a bit hog wild….but I thought it was okay in the light of all of this.
An Extraordinary Day! is about inspiration. Inspiring you to live a beautiful life.
As I sit here looking out at the snow gently drifting down on this incredibly gray day, I realize that if I only inspire you to feather your nest, I’m doing you a huge disservice.
There are plenty of blogs out there that have the latest, most cutting edge, most spectacular Christmas decor ideas imaginable. In fact, there are virtual Christmas home tours, everyday for about three weeks, filled with houses stunningly decorated for the holidays, where you can feast your eyes and get 10 or 20 or 100 decorating ideas. It’s all good.
But if we find ourselves in a whirlwind of going through the motions of “keeping up appearances” we lose. If we do all these things to cover the pain we are in…be it illness or injury, grief through death or a severed relationship, unexpected financial or job loss, or even too many hours spent at work away from our families, we lose. If our lives are such that everything is going well and every area of our life seems blessed and we buy even more gifts and entertain even more for appearance’s sake, we lose.
Does that mean I don’t think you should have fun decorating and giving gifts. Absolutely not.
Whatever you choose to do….do it for your Savior.
Peer into that manger…
Recognize the most amazing gift ever given.
You see this holy perfect magnificent God humbled himself beyond imagination. He allowed a part of himself to become fully human so that we could come to know him intimately. To prove his love for us.
So what does all this have to do with decorating and giving gifts?
Somewhere in the mix, I managed to adore my decor more than the gift in the manger.
I lost out on the best of Christmas.
The best of Christmas is in the chorus of an old Christmas hymn (O Come All Ye Faithful) which we quietly sing until it crescendos…
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ, the Lord.
This year…instead of thinking about the next cute thing that we can do for our Christmas decor, or create for a gift, or whip up in the kitchen…think about The Gift.
Think about what kind of being this God is…this creator of all…the author and finisher of life…that he would humble himself because of his great love for us.
Yes…we do need a heart of gratitude and words of thankfulness on our lips.
Even more….we need a heart of awe and adoration.
Maybe these words from C. S. Lewis say it better…
Gratitude exclaims, very properly, “How good of God to give me this.”
Adoration says, “What must be the quality of that Being whose far-off and
momentary coruscations are like this!” One’s mind runs back up the sunbeam to the sun. . . .
Whatever you do this season of Advent and Christmas my friend….do it for the glory of God…not for appearances.
Ultimately….the very best way that we can do that…is to give HIM our hearts.
Oh come, let us adore Him.
Oh…YES, I will still be sharing Christmas decor ideas….because it is my art and I have been created to create….for HIS glory.
Thank you for stopping by today.
I appreciate you and your sweet comments make my day.
Come, let us adore HIM,
P.S. For those inquiring minds….the Nativity is olive wood and was purchased in Old Jerusalem.
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