I'm worn out. 10 Christmas parties and counting. Not to mention a Toy Day at Living Water, Nutcracker (although my granddaughters were precious!), and a pre-birthday party. We were not home one night last week---and probably won't be this week either. Am I out of control? How in the world do I simplify? Didn't I blog about this last year?
But tonight we had a different event. We went to the 6666 Ranch---to a barn---and sang carols and heard the Christmas story. Our pastor said he's done this every year for his kids and grandkids. He wants them to experience the setting where Christ was born. So he did the same for us this year. (I have pictures to share, but later.)
As I sat there and hid my head behind the blanket I took (I kept getting dirt and hay in my teeth!), God began speaking to me. Actually, He showed me a video in my mind. I thought back to the special Christmases I remembered as a child. They were so simple. I remembered my dad taking us kids Christmas shopping (the year my younger brother, Gary, & I went in together to get my mom this beautiful cross necklace---years later we found out it was a rosary! ha!). As we walked along downtown, I spied a $5 bill blowing in the wind. We asked everyone around if it was theirs and since no one claimed it, my dad let me keep it. What a windfall!! (And probably the reason we could afford the lovely "necklace.")
I remembered the year it snowed and snowed. Our parents took us downtown and there was a horse-drawn sleigh---in Pampa, Tx!! We got to take a ride on that sleigh. It was so much fun. I was probably 4 or 5, but that memory is vibrant in my mind.
Then our family always went to Central Park in Pampa and viewed the life-sized nativity scene where there were speakers that told the Christmas story. It took about 30 minutes to walk the entire scene and view it all. Afterwards, we'd drive around town to see all of the Christmas lights. There were houses (where the rich people lived) that had speakers outside that had Christmas music playing. THEN....then we could go home and read the Christmas story....and then open gifts from one another.
Things were simple. That's what kept going through my mind. I want to focus on Christ's birth. I want to invest in relationships. I want to do the simple things. I don't know how, but that's the gift I'm asking God for this Christmas--and every year thereafter. I want simplicity with meaning.