Staying Joyful

In a Pinterest-dominated Christmas season, here’s how you can remain joyful.

Somedays, it sure feels like us moms are responsible for creating the magic of Christmas for our families to enjoy. And let’s face it, there’s a lot on our to do list. We buy the gifts, bake the cookies, mail the cards, decorate the house, cook the Christmas dinner.

These days, thanks to Facebook and Instagram, I feel like the bar keeps getting set higher and higher. Each time I log in, I’m constantly reminded of things I should be doing to celebrate this season. All. the. things. Sure, I start off well-intended, even enthusiastic about Christmas.

But somewhere between Black Friday sales and end of the year Christmas parties, I start burning out fast. Before I know it, I’m standing in a long line at yet another store feeling irritated, stressed and even resentful about a long list that keeps growing. Soon my disposition starts looking less like Mary, Mother of Jesus and more like, well, the Abominable Snowman.

What Would Jesus Think?

This December, I was invited to participate in a Bible study with several other moms that focused on the nativity scene in Bethlehem. Its holiness and simplicity left a mark on me. It left me wondering what Jesus would think about all the hoopla us moms have gotten ourselves into, this whole “making Christmas happen.” Would He walk into my home and say “Job well done. That Elf on the Shelf though…couldn’t you have gotten more creative?” I bet not.

Instead, I’m believing He would tell me to pour a cup of coffee and sit beside Him. Here, He’d offer me peace amongst the chaos. After all, he is the Prince of Peace. His simple entrance into this world is a part of the greatest story ever told. His presence, His grace, is a gift available to me. When I’m feeling less than perfect, especially during Christmas, that is exactly what I need.

Set the Example

My husband gently reminds me every holiday season that being a martyr for our family’s Christmas cheer doesn’t exactly turn me into the best version of myself.

I’m learning that if I am going to point my children to the cross and teach them about Jesus and his goodness, I’m going to have to let go of some of this self imposed Christmas to do list that turns me into an angry Yeti. Striving to create the perfect Christmas feeds me the lie that it’s my responsibility to provide all the joy and beauty this season has to offer. That job is not mine. It’s found in Jesus.

Not Pinterest Perfect

Before my kids deserve a Pinterest perfect Christmas with everything their hearts desire, they deserve a mom who is joyful. Only in the message of Jesus, the hope, the joy, the peace he provides can my joy be found. When my family sees that I don’t have to get everything done and make it all magical on my own, I can show them that I’m just an imperfect mom who needs Jesus, just like they do.

So this year my house will not look like a Hallmark movie set. My cookies will most likely be Pinterest fails and we won’t make every parade, party, and festival in town. Each time I log into Facebook, I might be reminded of things I should be doing more of and that’s ok.

This imperfect mom is going to truly enjoy the season. Because I’m not making Christmas happen. Jesus is. It was never my job to anyway. And, mom, it’s not yours either.

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About the Author: Lisa Gallion is a coordinator of MOPS at ClearView Baptist Church in Franklin, TN.

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