THE MOST CRAZY TIME OF THE YEAR
If you are anything like me, December is the craziest month of the year. The shopping, the recitals, the parties. Not to mention the cooking and baking! Oh, the cooking and baking!
I tend to have this crazy idea that I should cook or bake for every thing and every one at Christmas time. I also have this notion that it should all be made from scratch, and should be the best ever. I usually bake about 12 dozen cookies to send to work with my husband alone. The scene as they devour the cookies is probably much more laid back than the one taking place as I bake them.
CHAOS IN THE KITCHEN
Picture this, I’m in the kitchen, covered in flour. I’m trying to cook dinner while the cookies are baking. One kid is waving his assignment book in my face asking me to sign it, while the other wants me to read a flyer about an upcoming event. My husband is asking me if dinner will be ready in time for one of us to take our son to karate, and our daughter is asking who is driving her to dance. All the while the dogs are under foot, impatiently waiting for me to feed them. Welcome to my kitchen, it’s not for the faint of heart. As the hours tick by dinner is devoured, the dogs are fed, the kids are showered and ready for bed – and I’m still in the kitchen…baking, wondering how I am going to get up for work the next day. There’s no one to blame but myself. I can get frustrated with my family, or with the other people around me, but the truth is that they didn’t make me take all of this on. I did this to myself. Check out the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
CHOOSE THE RIGHT THING
I’m sure Martha was so annoyed by what Jesus was saying. She wanted Him to tell Mary to help her, but he told Martha that He would not. What I love is that Jesus said, “Mary has chosen what is better”. She chose to sit and listen to Jesus. Our position this Christmas is our own choice. We can plan our activities ahead of time, including down time for rest and for spending time with God. These things will refresh us and prepare us for a memorable time with family and friends.
But what can you possibly cut out?! Everything is equally important! If this is the case, then take some time to consider how you might do things differently this year. Here’s a few suggestions:
1. Shop online
2. Use gift bags instead of wrapping the gifts in paper and bows
3. Buy cookie mixes or participate in a cookie exchange
4. Divide up the cooking responsibilities so you don’t have to do it all
5. Let the kids help with decorating the house, ditch the perfectionism!
6. Determine how many parties you will attend ahead of time (2 for the month, or one each week in December, etc. ) and then stick to it.
7. Schedule down time each day! Even if it is only for 10 minutes. You simply must make time for yourself, and make time to pray.
YOU’RE NOT PERFECT, AND THAT’S OKAY
Accept that you do not have to be Martha Stewart or Betty Crocker. Cook or bake what you have to, and let someone else do the rest. Now go enjoy Christmas with your family!