It’s a Huge Hassle

Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
Psalm 62:1-2 (NLT)

It’s become a tradition in our household… the weekend before Thanksgiving, we decorate the house for Christmas. (I know what you’re thinking: why so late?) It should be a gleeful time of family togetherness but in reality, I dread the whole affair. I have to lug innumerable dusty boxes of tinsel and snow globes up from the basement. I have to rearrange the living room to accommodate the tree, which I then have to painstakingly assemble, trying to remember which branch is mislabeled (if you’d think I’d just label it correctly so I wouldn’t have to go through that every year, you don’t know me very well). I have to dust the entertainment center so there’s a nice place to put the Nativity scene. And most importantly, I have to yell at the kids for putting 37 ornaments in a one-square-foot section of the tree.

All this, so I can take it down a few weeks later.

Sure, it’s pretty, and it does lend a festive air to the house, but by the end of it all I’m just exhausted. In fact, it’s not just the decorating that wears me down. It’s the constant Christmas activity. It seems like the whole season is a whirlwind of parties, visits to and from family, cooking, buying presents, wrapping presents, stressing out over whether or not they will like the presents… who needs it? Filling up every spare minute with pointless seasonal hustle-and-bustle means I have no time left to spend with the God who made the season possible. The constant ringing of jingle bells drowns out the still, small voice of my Creator. Not that it matters; I’m too exhausted to hear it anyway.

I’m not going to get out of putting up the Christmas tree. I may have to spending an entire afternoon baking Christmas cookies for the neighborhood. But those things can’t be the center of my life during the Christmas season; that place is taken. It’s up to me to make the time to remember that.

Help me find the time, Father, to slow down this Christmas season and to hear your voice. Help me to find rest in you.

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