It's that time of year...
Commercials start rolling, offering sales at the speed of light. Every year the length of Thanksgiving getting shorter by the hour, meanwhile Black Friday has practically turned into the first 36 hour day in history. The ads actually have the courage to say "One for You and One for Me" this year...You know who you are, Target...
Its also the time of year when, as a wife and a mother, a panic attack sets in...to make the cookies or not to make the cookies...
Does that present have a big enough bow? Does that bow have a big enough flourish? and does my Secret Santa at work get the nice paper or the cheap paper?
Do I have all the lists of what everyone wants prepared? Can I decorate my house with a flair that would make Martha Stewart turn as green as the Grinch and then some?
White Elephant...Ugly Sweater...Traditional Caroling...Have I accepted every invitation possible?
Have I sentenced my husband to the purgatory of untangling and stringing up the lights, setting out the lawn Santa and every other decoration I could find, thereby beating Stan from across the street with a National Lampoon Christmas Vacation style?
Is this really Christmas? And why have we allowed it to become such a...Mess?
You know, the first Christmas was messy too. But there weren't lawn Santas, White Elephants, or Snowmen that talked. There wasnt even a single late night sale...But there was an event that you wouldnt want to miss...
Late one night, a husband travelled with his pregnant wife on a donkey, his heart filled with the stress of being new father...coupled with a terrifying journey across mountains and out of the eyes of bandits. You arrive in a town, crowded to capacity, when your nervous bride, wide-eyed, tells you "it's time".
Did I mention, she was a virgin and this child wasnt even really his? He was told by an angel to accept this woman and so, he did...Now, that's messy.
Even messier still, you hunt for a room for your beloved, and all you can find is a stable...and not like the sweet Nativity you fight your sister over putting up every year. This one had real animals with smells and noises and...stuff... all their own.
In this Mess, the message of Grace was born. In this chaos, the Savior of Love and Peace entered into the world. Through one sweet child, millions of sinful men will be saved.
The message of Christmas is messy enough. So why do we add our own mess to it?
Traditions are beautiful and should be treasured.The giving and receiving of gifts is wonderful. But these things should never take the place of the of celebration the gift that was given to save the world.
What are you celebrating first in your heart this holiday season? Will your family have a Merry CHRISTmas or a ChristMESS?
Start a new tradition this year. Put in a little more Christ and don't worry so much about the Mess.