One of our challenges as Fierce Mormon Mothers is to limit, to screen, to STOP the too muchness of our culture. It takes a conscious choice to do that. Christmas merchandise shows up in Costco three months early. We LOVE Christmas because it’s sentimental, it is full of good memories, good food and traditions. We know it’s all about the Savior’s birth. Yet, we can compare ourselves or think we need to provide too much for our children. It can get overwhelming as everything gets ramped up here in America. We lived in Belgium one Christmas and there was a single simple strand of lights put up in the village on December 1st. I asked a Belgian friend about their Christmas practices and she said gifts are small, simple and practical like a pair of good gloves. She said the focus is more on being together with your family and a good meal together.
This year I was really humming along. Because I was trying to simplify for Christmas I went easy. No family picture for me, with clothes matching and a beautiful backdrop. I found a picture from January 2016 where we all had our coats on and some snow on the trees. Check! I had my Christmas Cards mostly done by December 1st. I picked easy granola to make for close friends and neighbors. Check! Instead of giving things, our big gifts to our children were services or experiences that were a cinch to wrap. Check. Going into the home stretch I felt happy and I was enjoying the season. Then we had unexpected company for a week because of a funeral. This sad event bore the fruit of good family time. But someone brought the flu and Craig was laid flat on three days starting the 20th. By the third day I needed a little Christmas Cheer and found it in this video where it was posted on Meridian Magazine:
It reminded me that we already have so much. I love how he is estatic over the many luxuries we take for granted everyday. ” Shoes!” “We have electricity!” ” A car?!” How can we ask for anything more?
George Bailey in the christmas classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, was dutiful, putting off his dreams of travel and a college education in order to save the family business and fund his younger brother’s education. He made the best of it, settling in Bedford Falls and marrying Mary, (a good choice!) and raising a family. One grim day found he found out that his Uncle Billy had lost the bank deposit of 8000.00. The bank examiner was there for his yearly visit to check the books and George knew that if they didn’t find the money the Savings and Loan would close bringing bad publicity and scandal. He was frantic to find the money and finally found himself down by the river contemplating jumping in the icy water. Clarence the Angel jumped in the water so George would have to save him and Clarence ended up showing George what Bedford Falls would have been like if George had never been born. As Clarence took George through Bedford Falls , George saw all of the people he loved and helped full of despair, with no light in their eyes. Bedford Falls was full of bars and other unsavory elements. No one knows George or recognizes him. Finally in despair, George is back on the bridge, begging God for mercy, for his old life back. When he was given his old life back he exuberantly runs through his town screaming with joy. These final scenes show when the policeman does recognize him for who he is, George Bailey, and his new perspective of the town, his family, and his life. His friends, grateful for who George is, loyally show up and donate money to come up with the 8000.00 needed. (Sorry about the ad at the bottom of the movie)
There is a reason “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a classic.
My friend Marissa posted this on her Instagram…
I have had a real dose of weakness awareness lately. A very stressful job combined with too many social events, being taken advantage of in a Black Friday online scam which caused us to have to re-shop for nearly everyone on our list, health challenges, and my own expectations of what this season should look like for my kids had me in a major funk today. I had a meltdown directed at one of my children who I hadn’t set clear expectations with. To make a long story short, I came home to find this beautiful ornament my mom had sent as an addition to my small Joy Tree (a tradition I started years ago because I love the word).
It helped me feel loved and pondering the words caused me to pause and remember that the main reason for the season needs no lights, frosted sugar cookies, wrapped presents, shipped packages, or hand-stirred toffee. Christ’s birth is what it is! His life was unequivocally exceptional. His redeeming love is such a miracle! There is not one thing I *need* to be doing this season other than being grateful for his eternal gift of grace and redemption and offering that same grace and love to those I come in contact with. Big breath, mama. You are just fine. ❤️
She captured perfectly the simple truth of Christmas. The main reason for the season is to remember that it is all about Christ, and the Joy, Peace and Love He offers us. How about you? How has your season been? What do you do to simplify and keep Christ in Christmas?