If I want there to be any chance of enjoying the Christmas experience, I must prepare in advance. And then maybe, just maybe I’ll find one Saturday in December where I can enjoy a hot chocolate and gaze at the tree for a few moments. In my head, I long for that moment so desperately.
So with high hopes for that experience, I’ve instituted a process that begins in October. I make lists, am constantly on the lookout for ideas and begin those dreaded personalized calendars. I’ve trained my husband to work off a Google document so there’s no duplication and we can simultaneously be running errands as we near the end. And finally, if all goes as planned, the tree-gazing moment will arrive. But it’s likely to be brief. Because it only lasts until I remember I’ve forgotten to get the dog grooming appointments made.
And we all know Christmas cannot happen unless the dogs are groomed.
Interesting, isn’t it? In all that planning, not once did I plan for time to re-read the nativity story. I didn’t plan for daily advent devotions, much less enough time to connect with Jesus. Somehow, my process missed the whole point of the story. I’m all-in for preparing, but I’m preparing for the wrong things. Somehow, Jesus fell way down on my Christmas to-do list. I find myself saying it, HE is the reason… but nowhere on my spreadsheet or calendar is there time for Him. That needs to change. It has to. Because if it doesn’t, all of my efforts since October are meaningless. Without Jesus, Christmas morning is simply December 25th. The good news, it’s not too late. That’s right, Jesus is officially on the to-do list. I’ve made Him a reoccurring event each day. Sound silly? Maybe. But sometimes we need to use our planning techniques to declare Jesus a spot. So I’ve got a 15 minute block of time locked down to ensure that tracking the Amazon order doesn’t take priority over Him. Because He’s worth it.
Relevant Scripture: “And [Mary] gave birth to her first born son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7
Heavenly Father, please guide me to prioritize Jesus into my Christmas journey. As gifts and cookies and errands take over, remind me that preparing my heart for His coming is what matters most. Amen.