Friday, December 13, 2013

Be You This Christmas Season

Sometimes God whispers thoughts into my head and I think about them and then move on.  Then he whispers at me again, and everywhere I look or how I feel are all pointing back to the original whisper.  I get to the point where I can no longer ignore what God is telling me, and I have to put it into action.  Hence this post...
I love Christmas, I really do.  I love the magic of the season, I love driving by and gawking at lights, and houses decorated so sweetly.  I love the sound of kids singing "Jingle Bells" and "We Wish You A Merry Christmas."  I love picking out the perfect gift, I love wrapping presents, I love putting up the tree, and drinking hot chocolate.  Are you catching my Christmas drift?  I love it all!

Here is what I don't love about Christmas...other people telling you how you should act, what you should or shouldn't buy, and what Christmas is really all about.

Are you scratching your head yet?

I am a Jesus lover, Christ follower, so from that perspective, I understand what Christmas is all about.  I teach my kids about Jesus during Advent, and we celebrate his birthday.  But does that mean I shouldn't buy my kids presents?  Does that mean I shouldn't serve my family and give only my fresh baked goods to my neighbors?  Nope, it doesn't.  Guess what, you can do both, and Jesus will love you all the same.

I see too many blog posts, too many Facebook status updates judging people who love doing "Elf On The Shelf", or who celebrate Santa, or who don't do things the way the author of that blog or status does, so therefore the person reading it is wrong.

Good grief, that's not what Christmas is all about.  Glad tidings you bring, comfort and joy...nope, just judgement.

I guess this post has grown out of my heart like the Grinch's, getting smaller and smaller due to ignorant, maybe not spiteful meaning but you come across that way people.  I dislike reading your posts thinking anyone who might be searching for the real reason behind Christmas, who may be searching for something beyond themselves, have now just been turned off because they feel defeated and like they don't measure up, and they are only on your second sentence.

I am all for throwing out a good challenge, telling people how your family celebrates, and what special memory you just made, but please don't make the rest of us feel like our love for presents and elves is wrong, or any less Jesus loving.

I don't come at this post lightly, I have truly fought it for 2 weeks now, but I threw in my towel and I am jumping in the ring.

So I guess I am writing to people like me, who are learning to be okay with themselves and how they celebrate Christmas.  Here's to the families that use the elf to keep the peace for one night during dinner, here's to the people who sit with their child and read books about a train going to the North Pole, here's to the parents who leave out carrots for the reindeer.  Here's to the parents who set up a nativity scene and talk about the journey Mary and Joseph went on, here's to the families that eat birthday cake on Christmas morning because it's baby Jesus' birthday!  Here's to the family that gives more than it receives, and here's to the family that is on the other end of the giving because this year has been really tough for you, and you are just scraping by.

I guess no matter how you celebrate, no matter what means you use to make a family holiday memory, keep doing it, and do it unapologetically.  Don't let anyone make you feel bad about it, especially if your kids love it.

Now if you are looking for different ways to celebrate, or different memory makers, try something new, just go for it.  And if you don't like it, try something else, or tweak your original tradition.

Maybe it's the season of life I am in, or that I am getting older, but I am learning, accepting, and growing into myself, into who God created me to be, and I am unapologetic about it.  


{:miss v:} said...

Very very well said my friend.

Koni said...

Tell 'em, Kate! Legalism has never been my friend, or God's friend for that matter. The dos and don'ts of doctrine never won anyone to Jesus. I was recently in a store (ok, it was Goodwill!) and an older man had a poor lady cornered the whole time I was there telling her why Christmas trees are wrong and that Jesus' birthday isn't really Dec. 25. I wanted so badly to tell him that he was doing more damage to the Kingdom than good. I wanted to tell him, "tell her how Jesus changed your life, tell her about forgiveness and grace!"

Zion said...

Honestly, I am about to go on a Facebook break altogether. I am appalled by some of the mom wars that are happening, especially elf on shelf! It's not just you. It is ridiculous.

Katie said...

Everyones path is different on this sort of thing. People make a big deal about things but to God I don't think he cares. He knows your heart regardless of your motives. So yes some people do Elf On The Shelf to out do others and some do it to make their kids smile. (: Good job Kate

Anonymous said...

You are right on sister. The magic, awe, freshness, innocence of Christmas is apart of the Spirit of God. Thank you Kate. I love your boldness and attitude. You keep on you journey! Love you,
Michelle from Findlay