A Plan for Resolutions

Heads up! 2016 is fast approaching! And a new year always seems closely followed by those pesky, risky resolutions, doesn’t it? Well, have no fear.

Come along with me on my most recent Kroger expedition. There I was, blearily combing the aisles for potential Christmas stocking stuffers (and trying to maintain a safe distance from the cookie aisle, the frozen pie aisle, and the bakery section). I grabbed a pack of pens for our son and then I saw it:

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All Through the House…the Creatures WERE STIRRING!

IIMG_2673t’s DECEMBER!  Christmas! Family!  Festivities!  Joy!  And–if you’re like me and put TIMES on your calendar (do you see the 4th in the photo?) with no notice as to what or where it refers, MAYHEM!

We juggle dentist appointments, doctor appointments, photo appointments, school work, Christmas baking, Christmas cards, Christmas program practices, performances, concerts, food preparation, open houses, brunches, lunches, service time, worship time, laundry time, decorating time, gift shopping, gift wrapping, gift giving. Do you do any of that?! And let’s not forget vacuuming–especially necessary if you have a real tree and a fluffy dog like we do!

How do you handle it all? Does it work? I have a self-imposed rule that all preparation must be completed by the 10th of December–the first double digit day, my Christmas D-Day. All cards must be sent, all presents bought and wrapped, all commitments completed. Sadly, that rule often gets broken, but there’s an important reason I like to try to keep it.

Being done with preparation by the 10th means I have time–two full weeks–to enjoy Christmas! The dining room table, free of gift wrapping paper, scissors, tags, tape, boxes, and bows, is ready for Christmas dinner.  Christmas cards are already greeting friends and relatives far away, and I can savor each card that arrives with joy. I avoid the wild stress of last minute shopping and have the time to visit with people. There’s time to contemplate that Christmas star of long ago when I look up into the night sky when out with our dog. There’s time to read the prophecies of Jesus Christ’s birth in Isaiah 9 and the fulfillment in Luke 1 and 2. There’s time to pause and drink it in, like my favorite tea…ahhh…Christmas…Unto us a son is born. Wonderful. Mighty God. Counselor. Everlasting Father. Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

Funny how vacuuming up fallen fir tree needles and dog hair doesn’t seem very important at all in comparison! (Maybe I’ll cross that off my list. You, too?) Whatever you decide, dear friend, let’s do something for sure. (And I promise to, too, even if the 10th deadline is a bust and my calendar remains mayhem.) Let’s pause and give God some serious time. Let’s wonder at Christ’s willingness to take earthly form. Heavenly deity as a baby in a manger who would save us from our sins on a cross. Let’s say with the angels,

                                         “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!”

Happy Christmas!