Reclaiming Christmas, A Change in Focus

I just read a wonderful post at Barb’s blog, Sweethearts in Life.  She wrote about reclaiming Christmas.  I thought I’d give my thoughts on the subject as well.

We spent the 2001 Christmas season living in a hotel.  We had sold our house and moved everything into storage, expecting to get the keys and move into our new house right after Thanksgiving.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way.  The folks from whom we bought the house didn’t move out until the day after Christmas!   Oh my!  I’d always done Christmas in a very big way.  Big for our budget anyway.  Now I was in a hotel where I couldn’t even cook.  I had a ten year old, a four year old, a two year old and a newborn.  What could I do?

It really shook me up.  I was determined to make a nice Christmas for my family.  I found that Christmas was not what I and so many people had made it.   Because everything was in storage, I bought just a few snowmen decorations at Hobby Lobby on sale.  A friend loaned us a pre-decorated table top tree with lights.  I bought a few gifts for under the tree.  I found a wonderful book at the Bible bookstore about Advent.  It had prints of wonderful paintings and the account of Christ’s birth quoted directly from the Bible.  It had little doors that we opened each day.  That book became the center of our celebration. 

Each evening, after dinner, we’d light a candle and read the Advent book.  The first night it went very quickly.  We only read up to door one.  On the second night we read from the beginning of the book up to door two, and so on.  By Christmas, we’d read 25 times.  It was good.  Scripture is always good.

Christmas dinner was spent at my mother-in-love’s house.  I had bought a turkey ahead of time for her to prepare.  I cannot remember the rest of the details.   She just told us to show up.   We had Turkey, canned corn, and egg salad (like you put on bread for a sandwich).  Whoa, even the traditional meal didn’t work out.  Again, it challenged what Christmas had meant.  What we did have was our family together and love in our hearts.

When it was all said and done, it was the most memorable Christmas season for me.  It challenged all the Christmassy things I’d always done.  I have never gone back to the previous hustle and bustle excesses.  Now, eight years later, we still read the same Advent book every night.  We have a tree with our special ornaments.  We have gifts.  We have a great traditional meal.  We bake cookies.  All the fun stuff.  BUT…the focus has changed.  The focus is put on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’s birth.  God so loved us, His world, that He sent His son, that we might believe and be saved, be reunited with God the Father by Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross. 

May God change your focus this year,

Laura

Happy at Home

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3 thoughts on “Reclaiming Christmas, A Change in Focus

  1. Laura,
    I just love all you have written. I enjoyed it the first time and have returned 2 more times. My daughter is coming for Thanksgiving and I am going to give her the location of your site so she can enjoy you as well. (the daughter that I say is so very much like you!)
    Thank you for being such a special blessing to me.

    Blessings, hugs and love,
    Ruthanne

    Like

  2. Laura,

    What a beautiful post! I so agree that we do need to change our focus from material gifts to the gifts that we receive each day from God. I can so relate to your situation though – my husband worked construction and for many years, he would get laid-off right at Christmas time. I can remember one Christmas, in particular, that we barely had enough money to buy gifts, let alone dinner. We had 3 small children and only enough money to get one gift for each of them, but we did have the scriptures, so we were rich! We were able to read the story of the birth of the Savior to our children and feel of His love for each of us, each time we read it. I will always cherish that Christmas memory.

    I have received more blessings from beautiful posts like yours and from blogging friends like you! Thanks for sharing that part of your life with us. Have a very wonderful Thanksgiving.

    Blessings, Barb

    Like

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