My friends at Balsam Hill are sponsoring this post to go along with their: Countdown to Christmas Series & Giveaway .
From December 1 through Christmas Eve, twenty four bloggers will finish this thought in their own way:
(And then on Christmas Day we’ll get a special message from Balsam Hill’s founder and CEO, Thomas Harman.)
I’m so excited about this series because the theme is right up my alley!
As I began to think of what Christmas is to me, the answer overwhelmed. How could I possibly describe a feeling so real that I can almost hold it in my hand? What words could I wrap around a force so powerful that in it’s presence I’m filled with hope and joy at the exact moment I’m humbled and driven to my knees?
While describing what “Christmas is” was proving to be difficult, there was a memory that kept nudging it’s way into the forefront of my mind. A memory that was perhaps the very moment awareness dawned…
It was Christmas Eve a long time ago. My parents came into the room I shared with my sister and before they tucked us in for the night, we all knelt on the cold hardwood floor and my dad prayed.
I don’t remember the words of that prayer, but I do have a vivid memory of us kneeling in a pool of blueish light that spilled into the room from a street lamp. By the time that prayer was over and we said good night, I was awestruck with the realization that Christmas wasn’t about Santa. Christmas was about God sending His son to be born in a manger.
“For God so loved the world-that He gave His only son…”
As an adult, I’m still awestruck by that kind of love.
God extravagantly loving people through Jesus and surprise, I get to be a part of that extravagant love when I love people!
And here’s the irresistible thing about the holiday season…although loving people isn’t always easy, something happens at Christmas time…
Isn’t it jaw-dropping that we’re inspired to think of other people for 25 days in December!?
We decorate our homes creating beauty and warmth so friends and family feel welcome and loved.
We make lists and spend time looking for (or making) that just-right gift to help us express our love.
And for those precious children in our lives, we cultivate and keep traditions year after year. Why? Maybe because we know that those traditions, born out of love, anchor our children to their past and provide them with a roadmap of how to show love in the future.
My mom and dad filled the Christmas season with a tradition of special experiences. Of course there were gifts, but I don’t remember much about the gifts, it was the time we spent together that stands out in my mind.
I passed some of those traditions along to our four kids…
I didn’t have a pretty countdown to Christmas calendar back then, so to create anticipation, I printed up a cute calendar page of December. Mike and I would brainstorm until we figured out fun things to do every single day leading up to Christmas.
Nothing earth shattering. These were simple things, like:
*Take a night-time walk in the neighborhood to see the Christmas lights
*Volunteer at Must Ministries (a food/clothing pantry for those in need)
*Hot chocolate with your bedtime story
*Stop off at the donut shop on the way to school
*Baking day to make treats for the neighbors
*Decorate Sugar Cookies
Like I said, simple things. But having them on paper to look forward to, gave December a little extra excitement.
It also gave Mike and I the chance to show our kids a little love and to teach them how to give a little love.
So, I suppose to boil this fantastical—awe-inspiring—take my breath away season down to just one word…
I’d have to say:
And even sharing God’s love with people we don’t know.
That’s how I would finish that thought…how about you? How would you fill in the blank?
Christmas is: ______.
Sending a little love your way my friends~ ox
Now Balsam Hill would like to show YOU a little love with a Giveaway…
You can enter to win one of 25 Gift Cards worth $100.00 each by hopping over to the Balsam Hill Blog (HERE) and entering! It’s easy!
And Pam at House of Hawthornes will be sharing what Christmas is to her tomorrow…Pam would love for you to drop in!
This is chapter 6 in my series: All Things Home for the Holidays-finding inspiration for what matters most this holiday season~find the rest of the series HERE! xo