‘Tis the Season! The Season for feeling totally inadequate when it comes to wonderful “Hallmark” traditions and keeping up with the latest “Pinterest-perfect” house decorations and beautiful food. Maybe not true for you – but SO true for me.
As my gift to you this year, I thought I might take a few lines here to share my Christmas fails with you so that you can say to yourself: “Well, at least that didn’t happen at MY house!”
Let’s see … where do I start? How about the first Christmas of my married life? My new husband and I had moved several states away from my parents. We were scheduled to fly home for Christmas and my beloved came down with what we thought was a stomach bug. Turned out to be appendicitis! Did I become worried about my husband’s health? NO! Instead, I was beyond upset that I was not going to get to go home for Christmas! FAIL.
Or, how about when I tried to be the Pioneer Woman and make a scrumptious french toast casserole, baked to mouth-watering perfection, with an appetizing smell wafting up the stairs to wake my sleeping children. I watched with excited (ok – maybe a little smug) anticipation as my boys took their first bites of this grand breakfast! To my dismay, I then saw them pushing food around on their plates, trying desperately to be polite. I took my first bite and immediately said, “Yuck. You don’t have to eat this! I’ve got cereal.” To which my son replied: “Praise God!” FAIL.
One last one … last year around Thanksgiving, we discovered a leak under our dishwasher. However, it wasn’t discovered until it had completely ruined the floor not only in the kitchen but into the family room as well. Furniture had to be moved out, kitchen cabinets emptied, sanded and repainted, wood and tile flooring had to be removed, subfloor dried … you get the picture. I was tired, my house was a mess, and I did not feel like hauling out Christmas decorations! And besides that, where would I put them anyway? FAIL.
But, “It came to pass…” You know what? Christmas came anyway.
That first year, I hung Christmas ornaments on our “Christmas Ivy” and my husband and I sat on the couch and watched movies together.
That casserole? At least we were still all together around that breakfast table and enjoyed a good laugh. As a bonus, we now have the fun memory of “The Great French Toast Casserole Catastrophe of 2010.”
And our floor? Maybe the best Christmas ever! Instead of cooking a big Christmas dinner, we loaded everyone up, had a great dinner at a local restaurant (no anxiety for me or my kids!), drove around to see the Christmas lights and then painted a 9-foot Christmas tree on the subfloor and decorated it with our own hand-painted ornaments! We added scripture verses all over the floors – both Christmas verses as well as other favorites! (Wouldn’t you like to see the looks on the faces of the new owners of that house if the floor ever has to come back up?) Memories we will never forget.
As Dr. Seuss so eloquently put it, “It came without ribbons!… it came without tags!… it came without packages, boxes, or bags!” Indeed, I “hadn\’t stopped Christmas from coming, it came! Somehow or other… it came just the same.”
Don’t think for a second that the celebration of Christ’s birth depend on you. It doesn’t. Instead, take the focus off of you, off the decorations, off of keeping up with the neighbors’ lights…and remember the reason.
Klista Storts is on the VBS team at Lifeway Christian Resources. Before coming to Lifeway, she served as the Weekday and Preschool Specialist at the Tennessee Baptist Convention and as Director of Preschool Ministries at churches in Oklahoma and Tennessee. Klista has a passion for equipping leaders to share the love of Christ and lay foundations for conversion in the lives of kids.