Am I the only one who is finding it difficult this Christmas season to stay focused on Jesus, and the wonder of His birth?

I started out this season wanting so badly to shift the focus of Christmas in our home from Santa and presents (the way my husband and I were both raised) to Jesus’s birth. Unfortunately, as the weeks have gone on and I’ve been spending much of my free time shopping and planning out gifts for our loved ones, I’ve felt my focus shift back to the gifts, to do lists, and general busyness of the season.

Today as I walked out into the living room finally having gotten both kids down for naps at the same time, I felt the LORD calling me to himself. I had yet to sit down and spend time in the word and knew that I needed to. So I set aside my plans to wrap more presents, and settled down with my bible in my favorite spot on the couch. Instantly I felt the conviction of the HOLY SPIRIT gently revealing to me how I’d let my heart wander over the last few days. Obsessing over what we are getting the kids for Christmas, and just generally letting myself be stressed about things that really don’t matter from an eternal perspective.

What really does matter? Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who humbled himself and became a baby so that he could be the perfect sacrifice for us. The more I dwell on this fact, the more I am amazed by it. Our Lord, through whom all things were created, chose to take on the limitations of not just a man, but a baby. He went from commanding the universe to relying on a mere human for life. That is humility. That is perfect sacrificial love. I’m in awe of Jesus.

I wish I had the perfect answer to how to prevent the slow drift of my focus back to gifts and busyness. But I am new at this, and still taking things day by day, learning as I go. Some changes I’ve made this year are to implement a Jesse Tree advent calendar/devotional with our kids, and to start replacing some of our Santa focused decor with Jesus centered things. While these adjustments have helped and been a blessing to our family this year, I know the true answer lies not in things or anything I can do, but in Jesus himself.

So my prayer today and everyday is that I will care more about Him than about all of the check lists and parties. That before I do anything else I will prioritize time spent dwelling in His presence. He is the best gift we will ever be given. He is the answer to every hurt and broken thing in this world. I pray that every believer would fall more deeply in love with our Savior this Christmas, and that our love for Him would radiate in a way that draws others out of the darkness and into the light.

This Christmas I don’t want to lessen the celebration. If anything I want to amplify it, but in the right direction. My heart is for Christmas Cookies to be a reminder of the good gifts of the LORD and an opportunity to share Christ’s love with our neighbors. My desire is that our Christmas Dinner would be a feast where we revel in God’s perfect love for us, and celebrate with true joy and thankfulness the coming of our King Jesus. My hope is that every gift given and received is a picture of God’s thoughtfulness and care for us. Today my heart needed an adjustment, I needed to remember who all of the gifts and celebrations are meant to point back to and celebrate. With my renewed appreciation and excitement I’m going to wrap presents, drink hot chocolate, and watch a Christmas movie!

I would love to hear from you! How does your family celebrate Christmas? What special traditions do you have that focus on Jesus? How do you keep your heart in check during the most wonderful (and busy) time of the year?

(Note: this is in no way an opinion for or against having Santa be a part of the Christmas celebration. We ourselves have yet to decide where we will eventually land on this issue, no judgement from us either way!)

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