Embracing Our Gift-less Christmas
I've tried to mention "let's have a go-to-a-cabin kind of Christmas and not do presents" idea to my family for a few years now.
They don't get super excited (I mean most kids wouldn't be thrilled) and I get it because the traditions and excitement of Christmas are so great.
They listen to my grand ideas and try to show some understanding but...
The questions surface, "What would we do? That would feel strange. It wouldn't be Christmas without presents." I honestly wondered the same things.
Even with the most passion I would promote it.
"Lets just relocate Christmas to a cozy spot within reach and let that place be our gift. Time away and without piles of presents sounds so perfect!!!"
At this point my eyes are wide with excitement and they are looking at me like I've now lost all of my mind.
Well friends, my hopes and dreams have now turned into a bright reality!
This is the year that it all came together by the kindness of God! We will have no gifts under the tree. The decorations are up but are thin and few. The tree is lit but not covered with our usual collection of ornaments and I'm so excited!
I planned out a few details to present the news before Thanksgiving so that they could soak up the anticipation, and you know what? There has been zero talk of presents.
They were nearly speechless when presented with the gift that will override any earthly present they've ever been given. The gift of leaving home and going away to enjoy together time.
No one has double checked with me to see if they could have just that one thing.
No one is wishing we were staying home.
Instead, there is GREAT excitement for what is coming and it is not because of my thrown together presentation or my motherly convincing.
It is in the understanding that time, family, and fresh experiences will always have more grip on their hearts than packages.
I am all for presents and giving because He gave and loves to bless us. I am also a fan of not missing the deep truths in the celebrating!
I will forever be thankful for God's brilliance in the coming of baby Jesus.
He came without heaps of stuff. He was welcomed by ones who believed in His coming and ones with new-found belief.
It was quiet and clear and without a fuss.
This may be why I've wanted this experience for our family for so long.
Not that there won't be loud times, and the normal ups and downs for family time but... the celebration will be filled with purpose and will not get lost in the stuff. I am so looking forward to that.
What is coming resembles that starry night in Bethlehem.
I can promise you there will be troubles with travel, joyful moments, tears of thanks, awe in beauty, relationships reunited, love given, and peace present.
Maybe you long for something a little different this year. You may have had a low-key Christmas for years and this time, you want to surprise with big.
Whatever your family traditions hold, may you and your people:
be full of wonder for the God of the universe sent for you,
embrace His love that won't be found in the best of packages,
and rejoice in the arrival of a baby with saving power.