Three Christmases ago, back in 2013, I remember spending hours on Pinterest, “pinning" the countless ways I planned to be an intentional mom during the Christmas season. I was debating whether I was going to do a chocolate Advent calendar or wrap up twenty-five Christmas books for the days leading to Christmas. I believed I'd be the creative mom making the cute felt tree for my toddler to decorate--or maybe even be gutsy enough to let him or her decorate our real tree. I dreamed up fancy holiday brunches and elaborate Christmas traditions to start as a family. And then Liam came.
And the exhaustion.
And here I am three Christmases later. I forgot to start our Advent calendar and readings on the first of December. The twenty-five Christmas books thing? Well, that’s too time consuming. And the Christmas felt tree? I just saw a friend post a beautifully made felt tree on Facebook. Maybe next year. Decorating the Christmas tree? We still have glass ornaments. Elaborate brunches and other Christmas traditions? After a month plus of working a busier schedule and recovering from several viruses and anemia, I’m worn out. And let’s face it--all those extra, “intentional mom” things sound like a lot work right now.
But before throwing a pity-party for not living up to my high pre-children expectations, I had to remind myself of something. Christmas and the Advent season is not all about those over-the-top “intentional mom” things. It’s about celebrating the humble first coming and birth of the Lord Jesus Christ who lived the perfect life, died the horrible death, conquered the grave, and saves sinners like you and I. It’s also about looking forward to the glorious second coming of Christ, when sin and death will ultimately be defeated and believers will live with Christ in perfection and joy forever.
So instead of running around like a mad woman trying to “do it all" this year, I’m finding simple moments of joy, cultivating Christmas good will with family, and reflecting on Christ’s meek birth and future magnificent return. If my story sounds a little or a lot like you, join me this year in focusing hearts on the real reason for the season.
To get you started, here are 7 simple ways to find and share joy this Christmas:
Now it’s your turn. How are you cultivating Christmas joy this year amid the exhaustion every day life?
Hi! I'm Erin – a follower of Christ, wife, mama of two, and registered dietitian. Welcome to my blog where I write about intentional motherhood, intuitive eating, inspired discipleship, and whatever else I feel like! I'm so glad you're here.
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