Today we have a guest post by Anastasia:
Christmas time is one of the busiest seasons of the year. The hustle and bustle of list making, shopping, cooking, baking, wrapping and entertaining consumes most American families. Everyone wants that perfect, picturesque Christmas. But is the perfect Christmas where our focus should be?
Everyone is consumed with pursuing perfection with having the perfect tree, the perfectly decorated house, the perfectly baked treats, and we can't forget the perfectly dressed children for our perfect Christmas cards. Just so everyone can see how perfect we are, clearly.
It is all too easy to become more focused on things than on the true reason for the season. When our hearts are set on the earthly things that surround Christmas than we are in danger of losing our joy in what should be the most wonderful time of the year.
Women tend to be more stressed for Christmas than actually enjoying it. We have overwhelmed ourselves with our pursuit of perfection. We have our hearts set on the wrong things and those things are stealing our joy.
As the managers of our homes, we determine the atmosphere of our homes. What are we teaching our children about about Christmas? Do they think that being perfect is what Christmas is all about? Do they think that hosting the most Christmas parties is what's most important? Or do they dread the month because they know mom will be stressed out every day?
The holidays don't need to be so stressful!
Where is your heart this Christmas, Mama?
Focused on Traditions?
Is it wrapped up in all of the traditions? Are you more concerned with doing the same traditions every year, even if your kids have outgrown them, than you are about connecting with them? I know most moms love their traditions so much that they can't let them go. We can become so obsessed with the traditions that they become a weight that overwhelms the people in our homes. They grow to hate the traditions while we keep on dreaming about the perfect Christmas.
Change your heart by letting things go. Ask your children what traditions they love and want to do and then let the ones that they don't love or care about go.
Focused on People Pleasing?
Is your heart wrapped up in pleasing everyone around you? Are you overwhelmed and overworked because you can't say no to anyone? When you have too much on your plate and you are neglecting the people in your home than you are chasing after that perfect Christmas by pleasing everyone else.
Mama, we can't say yes to everyone without sacrificing something else. The people in our home are who we will have the greatest impact over. Let's be careful that we aren't putting them on the back burner while we are running the Christmas play, organizing the church decorating or delivering Christmas cookies to the local homeless shelters.
For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
Change your heart by saying no. Choose one or two outside obligations during the month and spend the rest of your time with your family. Try including them in your obligations this will teach them to serve right along with you instead of putting them off while you serve.
Focused on Pride?
What is motivating you this Christmas? Is your heart wrapped up in the feelings of being noticed and needed by other? Are you seeking the praise of man for your perfectly decorated home and treats?
Our pride seems to creep up and take over in full force during the Christmas season. Christmas cards and decorations should not be our motivation. We can't keep trying to outdo everyone every year. If your kid has a huge scratch on his face, so what? Take a unique family photo for your Christmas card. Did all your kids scream for family photos? Send off the bloopers and show people that this is your real life. No one is judging you except you.
When we are spending more time pursing the perfect tree, the perfect outdoor lights or the perfect Christmas cards than we are with connecting with our family and teaching our children what Christmas is all about than we are missing the mark. We are letting such precious time and lessons slip through our fingers.
Change your heart by kicking your pride to the curb!
These are some tough questions that we need to be asking ourselves. Self evaluation is a good thing! When we are feeling more stressed than blessed it's time to step back. We don't have to choose the hustle and bustle of Christmas stress. We can enjoy the season and connect with those who are most important to us.
No one is perfect. Let's stop seeking after the perfect Christmas. Let's stop running ourselves ragged pleasing everyone. Let's stop seeking the praise of man.
Let's intentional pursue a peaceful home and peaceful hearts this Christmas.
So mama, where is your heart?
Your turn! What are you focusing on this holiday season? Are there some changes you need to make to truly connect with the people in your home?
Anastasia is the wife of her high school sweetheart and mama to three little ones. In between the craziness of laundry, meals, and homeschooling she enjoys reading, writing, sewing, crafting and anything pink! She has the desire to inspire women to pursue holiness in their everyday life and you can find her doing just that over at anawins.com