I was reading to Micah last night prior to our bedtime routine, in an attempt to settle his wild soul down. So, of course we were reading, “Where the Wild Things Are.” It was adorable to hear him repeat Max’s phrases, “Be Still!” and “Let the wild rumpus start.”
And as I sat tonight trying to settle my soul into this special season that is upon us, it instead felt like the world declaring, “Let the wild rumpus start!”
For many, the rumpus of the Christmas season began the very night we give thanks for all we have. What better way to reflect on our abundance of blessings than to rush out and get more, right? I don’t have a problem with those wanting to get a jump on giving and save while doing it, but the retailers pushing it earlier and earlier is just ridiculous. I just avoid it all together! Was the Dollar Tree even running a Black Friday special? That’s where my DIY gifts will hail from!
We are in a consumer society that teaches us to want more, need more, and be satisfied with none. Trying to teach little ones what Christmas really means is tough.
I am all for passing on Christmas traditions from childhood, Santa, gift giving, and The Grinch.
But I am all about the greatest and first Christmas gift, Christ.
To be cliche, He is the reason for the season, in this heart and hearth, and I hope in yours. There is nothing better to give or to get than the FREE gift of God’s grace, wrapped beautifully in swaddling clothes, and delivered in the humble form of His son, Jesus Christ.
But I’ve been struggling on how best to deliver this message to my children’s hearts (and ours) without robbing them of simple, fun Christmas magic and joy that comes in many commercial forms ….
We have purchased our “Elf on a Shelf,” I’ve pinned numerous pins on how to pose our feisty elf, letters to share with the boys telling them about Jesus and grace and Santa, and I thought I was all set for his debut Saturday morning.
But, my heart was unsure.
No, I didn’t think it would ruin the truth of Christmas. I just wasn’t prepared in my heart.
I was too focused on how fun it would be (for me?), and how cute the Instagram photos would turn out, and how many people might like my posts about our Elfish adventures that help share grace.
Even though I would carefully craft a letter from Santa about Jesus, grace, gifts, and this little elf, I was letting the “fad” of it all overtake the point of it all; helping teach and remind my little guys about God’s free gift of grace.
That it is not about being naughty vs. nice because we would all fall short of the nice list frequently. This time of year is about remembering that we are so loved, as we are, that God gave us the greatest gift He had, and He gave it freely, so we might freely give of His grace as well.
It is such a profound gift, simply given, and it is not easy to live a graceful life in a world that says, “It’s all about me!”
But we are trying here, in these hearts, big and small, in this home, imperfect as it is, and with our neighbors, whomever and wherever they may be.
I am grateful to have reflected these 30 days on the abundance of blessings in my life, and I am even more grateful to enter into this glorious, magical, and graceful season of CHRISTmas.
Our elf will appear as soon as I am certain the focus is in place and that it helps teach us more about giving than getting.
We will sing about jingle bells and that Batman smells and Silent Nights and we will marvel at beautiful lights.
We will make gifts to give to those we love and those we ought to love. We will get gifts with glee as well, and we will give thanks.
We will cherish these moments and these memories, especially the people that make them memorable.
We will remember that Jesus is the reason for the season and that His gift of grace is to be given at all times, no matter the time of year.
We will need grace as the wild rumpus begins!