It’s unfortunate that the Christmas season is such hectic time. Errands, shopping, wrapping, decorating, cooking, baking, mailing cards….just thinking about all those activities puts my mind in high gear.
Obviously the season of celebrating Jesus’ birthday shouldn’t be represented by chaos, but quite often we find ourselves with long “to do” lists and not much time to relax and enjoy.
I’m reminded of something my friend shared a while back. As an interior decorator, the majority of her business takes place in December. One holiday season she worked to the point of becoming ill. Not to be deterred, she continued laboring while she was off her feet, giving instructions to her employees regarding where to hang and place items around her home for her upcoming party. There she was, lying on the sofa feeling sick, yet continuing to push herself to get things done! It didn’t take long for her to realize that her priorities were completely out of line. She asked the Lord to forgive her for allowing herself to become so maxed out, and she made a decision never to let it happen again.
Most of us can’t relate to being that much on overload, but we definitely feel pressure to accomplish a lot in a limited amount of time. This Christmas season, let’s schedule a few “appointments” to rest and reflect on the reason why we’re celebrating in the first place.
A candle light ceremony is one way to do that, as described in my mom’s and my book. Another idea is to make hot cider, sit down with your family, and read your Christmas cards together. After going through them, pray for the people who sent the cards, and then express gratitude to Jesus for coming to this earth to become our Savior. There are so many ways we can experience His peace, hope, and joy this season. It’s often just a matter of time.
Christmas Apple Cider
1/2 gallon apple cider
1 quart cranberry juice
1 large (12-ounce) can frozen lemonade (undiluted)
5 whole cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cup golden brown sugar (optional)
In large pan, combine all ingredients and place on low heat. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and strain. Put spices in a tea ball and put back into cider (optional). Serve hot. Yield: Approximately 20 servings
(excerpt from Welcome To Our Table)
Shirley & Danae Dobson: As the wife of Focus on the Family founder, Dr. James Dobson, Shirley has devoted her life to the ministry and embraced many opportunities to entertain guests. From dignitaries to backdoor neighbors to the family, Shirley has opened her heart and spread the table for all. Danae, James and Shirley’s daughter, remembers the gatherings and lovingly recalls what her mother taught her about being kind and extending hospitality. Now mother and daughter have gathered the stories of those celebrations and get-togethers to inspire others.