Monday, November 19, 2012

Taking Christmas Out of the Box

Every year, Christmas is different for me. I tend to focus less on the holiday itself, and more on what is going on in my heart from about Thanksgiving through mid- January. It isn't something I plan for, it just happens, and I've learned to lean into it and enjoy the season. That doesn't mean the season is always fun and jolly. There have been a few Christmas seasons that have been very difficult for me. But, once I figured out what Christmas means to me and for me it became my favorite time of the year.

Yes, Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Christ, our savior. That means everything to me, but let's face it, it doesn't mean very much to many in our society today. We say it does, but it has become so commercialized, so busy, so of this world. For the many who love and follow Christ sometimes it is very hard NOT to get caught up in everything else. I gave up trying a long time ago. What did I expect? How could I expect a pagan holiday to develop into a religious one without compromising the holy? So, I took Christmas out of the box. And it has become the best gift and most "holy" time of the year.

I am very visual, and very contemplative. If you've known me for many years, you understand. It may be hard for some of you to believe that about me because being silly, creative and my hating squirrels is often all you may see. I suppose I do that because under the surface, my heart and my mind don't stop reflecting on the deeper issues of life and eternity. Sometimes, this girl just needs a break. Silliness keeps me sane! And cleaning? I have my best prayer time while I clean.

This time of year, I let both sides of me flow. What I am sensing, what I am praying for, what is in my heart gets expressed thematically, creatively. Gifts I choose, how I spend my time, and plans for the coming year reflect what I think the Lord is leading me into. What may seem light and fun, sometimes is just that. Other times, even Santa Claus decorations take on new meaning. Last year, my papercrafting  came back to life after a few years of being dormant. I was drawn to snowflakes, book pages, and lights. I also made a new wreath. Red and Sparkly. I am not usually a sparkly kind of woman. Was that why I was unusually more spunky this year?

Christmas Mantel 2011


I still haven't  "unpacked" what the snowflakes symbolized, but I know there is something about them to be learned. They just won't get out of my head. I used a lot of "gifts" as decorations last year. (Wrapped boxes stacked high, with teddy bears sitting on top of many.) I also spent a lot of time shopping and in the hustle bustle of the season.  And I LOVED every minute of it. Turns out, the year 2012 became the year for me to settle into deeper relationships with many people, both family and friends, but mostly my husband. Maybe that's what the red wreath was about.

This year, I'm gearing up for a simple Christmas. Being out and in the middle of it all is NOT where I belong. Next year, I may be right back at it, but for now I need to pull back. Its not about money or energy. It isn't about decorating either. In fact, STARS seem to be drawing my attention this year. There seems to be a somberness "in the air" I cannot describe  It is more than the economy, more than politics, more than anything in the news. I suppose this is my year for being reflective, looking for eternal value, and cherishing the simple things in life He has given. But most of all, it is about LIGHT. He is my LIGHT and my LIFE.

The Lord is my light and my salvation-Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1

Therefore, over the next few weeks when you see me post about decorations, gift ideas, and fun, don't think I'm being superficial. I'm simply unpacking Christmas.

Praying for all of you to know, enjoy, and believe all that HE gives you this year.

Love, Roxana







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