I’m totally consumed by Christmas this time of year. The tree, the lights, the baking…all of it. I love the candles of Advent and the carols announcing the new born king. I breathe glitter and vanilla and plastic snowflakes. Christmas is my jam.
I’ve had an uneasiness today, though. The glitter is up, the tree is lit, and the songs are playing. The plastic snowflakes are dangling from the deco-mesh and the Advent log is perched upon the family devotional. All the pieces are in place but my heart is lagging. I find myself flinching at the crowds and fleeing from the noise. I want to snuggle on the couch with a quilt, turn on White Christmas, and shut the world out.
Last week was all about fellowship. Almost every night was crowded with people I love doing activities I adore. I was honored to speak at the Christmas Tea at our church on two nights while Charlie and I hosted the staff Christmas party Friday. We had friends over for dinner. So many people, so many laughs…my heart was oozing.
Love. Joy. Happiness.
That was last week. Today feels empty. Today the crowds were hurried and hectic. There was not enough room in the store and the clerks were less than patient. The stops were plenty and the shoes, while cute, were uncomfortable.
Rushed. Tired. Drained.
Why do I put this pressure on myself this time of year? Not every moment has to be an excerpt from a Hallmark Classic. I don’t have to sneeze sparkles. I love the parties. I feed off time with my people – throw in a great bottle of wine and a scrumptious dessert? Win. But I have to learn to balance. I am gaining a new sense of the mind/body balance I need to stay healthy both physically and emotionally. This mean choosing to balance water with wine and veg with cheese. It means turning off the television and radio from time to time and sitting in the silence of the twinkling tree. Balance means saying no even when I’m tempted to say yes. Yes to some things is fun. Yes to all the things empties my heart and steals my joy. Even extroverts need a break from time to time. Focusing on the tasks and lists drains me. My heart leans toward full when I take time to see God in all the moments instead of rushing through the day like a maniac with a gel-penned list.
So balance tonight means pouring a big, bulbous glass….of water. It means lighting the fire and putting my feet up. The wrapping can wait. Maybe I’ll savor a piece of fudge. (Come on…I’m drinking water!) I’ll put on some comfy socks and rest in the knowledge that whether or not my gingerbread men get baked Jesus will still be on the throne. If every last light blows out on my tree He will still be LORD. If none of my lists get finished tonight I can still lay my head on my pillow knowing that God loves me so much he sent his one and only Son to be my Savior. And with that knowledge I will wake up tomorrow and Christmas will again be my jam.