Season of Joy
What are you looking for this holiday season? The perfect toy, the most-flattering party dress, a perfect family portrait? Try something different this year – go searching for Joy!
In our hearts, we know that Jesus is the reason we celebrate CHRISTmas, but in our minds? In our minds, we often get distracted and focus on the things the world thinks of when they hear Christmas: trees, lights, and presents (or lack thereof) instead of on Jesus.
A few years ago, I wrote a blog post titled: The Season of Overindulgence. As I sit here writing, I think back to the main points of that piece: Jesus and thankfulness. There is nothing wrong with getting or giving presents unless doing so turns your heart away from the wonder and joy of Christ’s birth. Then you need to ditch the presents and search for His presence.
I love the Christmas season as much an anyone. After all, my birthday is December 25th! I love lights, trees, ornaments, singing Christmas carols, and watching or reading Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. We can enjoy these things in moderation if our hearts are right with God. We all should be focusing on finding Jesus and the gifts He offers. We need to be sharing the love and forgiveness He alone can offer to our family, friends, and co-workers. When we turn our pursuit of Christmas back to a search for Jesus, we find something remarkable: Joy!
Joy comes not in finding a new toy but on focusing on all the ways we have already been blessed by our Heavenly Father. If you are tempted to look at the bare floor underneath your Christmas tree, then turn your focus instead to who will be gathered around it with you. Instead of trying to get a perfect picture of your family, choose to laugh at the silly ones and determine to take some more while playing board games or going outside to enjoy the snow together this year.
As parents, especially as moms, we set the tone for the family’s attitude about Christmas. Is yours filled with longing for time spent with God, or is it filled with disappointment over what you do not have? Can you make a choice today to go searching for joy? Read one more picture book before bed, or play one more round of Candy-Land. Spend time making paper chains or hand-print ornaments. Maybe it’s time to learn to string popcorn like our grandparents did or cut paper snowflakes to decorate with.
Christmas can and should be lived out of a place of joy, not worry. It should not be a season focused on what you can give and get but rather a season to remember all we have already been given. Life through Jesus!
There are so many sparks of joy to be found this holiday season – go searching for them!
A veteran with 16 years of experience, Carol writes with a practical look at the whole journey of home education. She spent the years with her daughters focused on experience-based education and frugal ways to teach and learn well. Her writing offers encouragement that anyone, even working moms, can homeschool successfully. Carol writes for her local newspaper, the Homeschooling with Heart Blog, and other outlets. You can find her love of nature, field trips, and lifelong learners on her blog: Home Sweet Life. Follow along on their adventures on Instagram.