A couple weeks ago our family decorated the Christmas tree together. Well, actually, Ryan, Micah and I decorated the tree while Josiah took everything off. After the tree was up, I spent the first few days trying to teach Josiah not to touch the tree. But after I realized I was fighting a losing battle, I put all the fragile ornaments up high. Now the bottom of the tree is bare and there are always a few ornaments lying around the house. I decided that "Peace on Earth" (and in our home) was more important than a nicely decorated tree. Josiah also has enjoyed stealing the pieces from the children's toy nativity just after Micah has it set up just right.
But despite all of this, Micah is really excited about Christmas this year. He has enjoyed making cookies and gingerbread houses, Christmas ornaments and even a nativity out of toilet paper rolls. (I know you want a toilet paper roll nativity too. But this is one of a kind. You can't have it. Don't be jealous.) Micah looks forward to visiting family in the US, having a little break from school and going to Disney World for the first time.
With all this busy-ness it is easy to forget about Christmas. How complicated can we possibly make Christmas? How simple was that first Christmas? Jesus, God in flesh came to this earth as a baby, a naked little baby. He lay in a manger, a animal's feeding trough, and was wrapped in clothes. And though angels filled the night sky with song, it was the simple shepherds that took note of them and came to see the baby. Why didn't anyone else come? Maybe they were too busy to notice the angels or just too busy for their message.
I love celebrating the ways I did when I was young and I love making new traditions with my children and husband. I just think that we need to be aware that sometimes we are celebrating our family, our childhood, and our friendships when we say we are celebrating our Lord. I pray that our family despite our busy-ness will be able to celebrate Jesus this Christmas. I pray we will not be too busy to join the angels in sharing the Good News. I am not exactly sure what that looks likes to celebrate Jesus at Christmas without busying myself with another activity. But I pray that I will be able to figure out what it means and be able to teach it to my children. I pray while we host teams, hop planes, visit family, go to amusement parks, build gingerbread houses, decorate cookies and open gifts, we think of a simple Christmas and we learn how to celebrate Jesus. I hope the same for you and your family too.