I've struggled for the past couple of years, as the weight of the responsibility, as mother and wife, for such decisions has really begun to press upon me, with how to celebrate Christmas the "right" way. What traditions will we take on? What customs will we skip? How do we really impress upon our children, and ourselves, the true significance of our celebration?
I know it sounds empty in our culture today to say I'm sick of the commercialism of the holiday. For we hear that everywhere and yet under the trees of all of us who say that are still a plethora of wrapped packages. Our stockings are still hung by the fireplace with care and our children still ooh and aah over the blinking lights on the tree and on their brand new toys.
But I just don't know what to do these days.
I am not opposed to gifts - only because that's my love language and I do like an excuse to show others I care by giving them that just right wrapped something, not because I feel I have to or because I desire something in return. But is making the giving (and receiving) the focus of this "Holy Night" really the right thing to do? Clearly not.
I am also not opposed to not doing gifts - in fact, at times I feel I'd really prefer it. But that is not my decision to make alone and I refuse to be the Gift Nazi - "No gifts for you!"
So, what do I do. How do I do it right?
I realized just today that this Christmas season isn't about a "right" or "wrong" way of doing things. It's not about guilt. It's about worship.
And learning how to "do Christmas" the right way should be no different than working out how we do our lives. Because, as Christians, aren't we to be in constant reminder of Who Christ is - allowing Him to reign supreme, especially over the worldliness that ever threatens to take over? Not just at Christmas, when we ponder His birth, or at Easter, as we appreciate the sacrifice, but in all things, at all times (Colossians 3:17).
This struggle between the worldly and the Divine is not just a December dilemma. Or, at least, it shouldn't be.
So, here's my answer, for now. We will worship Christ always.
This Christmas season, as with those past, and those to come, I am learning so much about Christ and His purpose on this Earth. And this learning, this focus on our Savior, will always be my greatest joy at Christmas. We will spend time with family, we will give tokens of our love, but never to extravagance or to the extent of breeding greed. We will sing carols - both "Jingle Bells" and "Silent Night." We will delight with child-like wonder at the joys the season brings, but we will not allow the simple joys to be swallowed by the worldly gimmicks or glimmer.
And, always, we will worship.