Guest post by Meghan, aka FaithGirl
Now that the holidays are over let me just say that I think I need to avoid all social media from the week before Thanksgiving until January 2nd. Because did I REALLY need to see posts of beautifully dressed children in immaculate kitchens making extraordinary looking Christmas cookies? OR did I need to read on facebook that “Santa found us in Cancun…so very BLESSED.” My holidays were far from this portrayal of yuletide bliss.
Here is how my holiday season came and went in a nutshell:
- Baby #2 was born two weeks early at the beginning of November. I was totally unprepared. Unprepared as in no bag packed, no arrangements made for my 2 year old. Unprepared as in went for a routine ultrasound and ended up in labor and delivery immediately following. Thankfully, baby #2 is healthy and thriving.
- The help that was lined up to come when baby #2 was actually due arrived but then decided to leave a week early. Yikes!
- Thanksgiving came – my husband grilled steaks for dinner.
- Christmas season started – the outdoor lights went up.
- We got a Christmas tree but only put lights on it. No ornaments touched the tree.
- No stockings were hung by the chimney with care. Seriously. No stockings up.
- No advent wreath, advent calendar, or elf on a shelf was a part of our Christmas season.
- No one sat on Santa’s lap this year.
- No Christmas cards when out – not even to announce our new baby. Nope. Not one Christmas card was sent.
- No Christmas presents were wrapped – not one.
- No Christmas cookies were baked – we ate oreos instead.
- We did not attend one Christmas church service this year.
- Most of our Christmas presents were sent out after New Years.
- Our outdoor Christmas lights are still up – just unplugged.
- We are probably going to be on an episode of Hoarders soon.
There have been people who have shamed me about my Christmas season, who have just shook their heads at me, and said, “Really, Meghan?” as if I personally ruined Christmas for them. I spent a lot of time shaming myself as well. The voice in my head kept telling me what a bad Mom I was for not getting it together. I spent many days wiping away tears while running back and forth between my fussy newborn and my tantrum throwing 2 year old (Yep. Son #1 has had a heck of a time adjusting to the baby.) telling myself everyone else got Christmas together why couldn’t I?
A Christmas Revelation
Then I had a revelation. It was after New Years and I was still beating myself up over my failed Christmas. Suddenly my thoughts went to Mary, Jesus’ mother. I thought about her Christmas the year that our Savior was born. She was full-term in her pregnancy riding a donkey into Bethlehem (um…ouch?). They couldn’t even find a room indoors when she was I’m assuming already in labor – they were sent to the manger in the back (talk about an unsterile birthing environment).
It must have smelled with all those animals and hay – it may have been freezing cold. I’m sure it wasn’t what she envisioned for bringing her baby into the world. And then to add insult to injury they have visitors – shepherds no less. If it had been me I would have been yelling at Joseph, “Are you KIDDING me?! Shepherds?! You better get out the Purell because God only knows where those hands have been! And would you look at this place, we can’t entertain anyone right now – there’s HAY everywhere!!”
I realized that one of the gifts of Christmas that comes with the birth of Christ is the gift of acceptance. Jesus could have never come into the world if Mary first hadn’t said yes and accepted God’s invitation to carry the Son of God site unseen. And, oh, what she had to accept as the Mother of the Savior of the world. I am taking this lesson into my New Year. My life has been a little turned upside down. That is okay. God is good – no, God is GREAT. He provides. And He doesn’t care about the stockings or the tree. He wants to know if I will say “yes” to Him – to His plan for my life, for my family’s life? Will I allow Him to bless me – will I let Him in? Will I Accept Him and His Son – who came into the world in a less than ideal environment – it was messy, it was chaotic but it was God’s will. And look at the beauty of that will.
So as I go forth into 2013 my prayer is for acceptance this year. I accept that I will both fail and succeed this year, that at times things will be less than ideal, and at times things will be amazing. I accept that where I am right now is where I am supposed to be because God’s got this, He knows what He’s doing with me…unwrapped presents and all.
FaithGirl is a Catholic Christian and proud wife of the GreekMcGyver and blessed mother of two precious boys. She is a former youth minister and counselor turned stay-at-home. In her spare time (if any) she loves to take walks, read, cook and bake, and play outside with her boys.
Thank you, this made me laugh and puts alot in perspective now doesn’t it?
Great article, Meghan! I personally find that not following any Christmas traditions is very empowerwing and liberating. I only do stuff if my heart is telling me to, not because it’s supposed to be a certain way…
Miss you!! ♥