Each year I ask God for a Christmas moment; a small quiet block of time to be alone in His presence. A special time when He can share His heart with me. It is during this set aside time each year, when my heart is still, that God has touched me deeply. These Christmas moments have opened my understanding about different aspects of Christ's birth, life, death or character I might have missed otherwise.
Christmas means different things to different people. I have wrestled within myself in the past over some of the traditions surrounding Christmas. I have wondered what a Christmas- that truly honored God- should look like. On those Christmases past even as I struggled God has always smiled. Even when it seemed we had nothing God has provided materially for our family and made a Christmas where there seemed to be none. Because He has done this for us I don't wrestle (as much) with the materialism or the controversies that arise over Christmas. Instead I revel in the season and look for was to make it special. The fact the God has done so many Christmas rescues in my life has caused me to focus less on the material and concentrate more on the spiritual and emotional aspects of Christmas. I now look for ways to extend the season as long as possible!
Our tree is up and simply decorated. We have cookbooks spread out on the counter and are trying new holiday recipes as well as making the old favorites. Christmas books collected over the years are out and we are reading inspiring Christmas stories each day. The Advent wreath is on the coffee table and we've been reading about the many prophesies fulfilled by Christ...some prophesied over a thousand years before His birth! We look forward to lighting the next candle on our Advent adventure.
As I try to lay for my children a foundation of Christmas traditions that tie them to the truth of Christmas, my heart is content. I feel ready for Christmas though I have not purchased one gift.