Slowing down Christmas. What does that even mean? How is it even possible?
Christmas is my favorite time of year. Yet, it never seems to last long enough. Time always passes too quickly, but Christmas seems to pass the quickest.
While Christmas is a beautiful season and I could keep the lights and decor up all year long, that isn’t why I chose to start slowing down Christmas several years ago.
I am a doer. Always busy with something to do. A list in hand, or at least not far away on my desk.
Rest isn’t something I do easily…even when I want to.
When watching a movie or reading a book, both of which I love to do, I often have to be intentional to put my cell phone away to keep from checking/sending emails, posting on social media for business, etc.
One Christmas I realized that it was over. The season that I loved the most had finished. I had missed it.
I’d been busy planning cookie swaps, shopping for friends and family, singing Christmas carols, decorating the Christmas tree, baking delicious treats, reading Christmas stories, wrapping gifts and filling stockings, etc., etc., etc.
So busy, that I hadn’t had a moment to enjoy…much less embrace Christmas.
When it was all done, I had no Christmas memories. It was all a blur. A flurry of activities.
Another task had been completed on my list.
Slowing down Christmas started with celebrating advent with my children the next year.
It was a life-changing experience.
That Advent was the first step to creating the Christmas I wanted for myself and for my children.
Each Christmas following, I’ve found myself letting go of another Christmas activity, intentionally choosing to slow down Christmas.
First the cookie swap, then the days of baking for neighbors and friends, the shorter shopping lists and fewer presents to wrap.
Some years I do include more Christmas activities than others. However, I do strive to limit them once Advent has begun.
This allows me to be busy decorating for the Christmas season and have everything in place before the slowing down begins.
My heart and mind need a quiet, reflective Christmas season. I need this time to spend with Jesus.
A new year is very important to me. It always has been, but before a new year begins, I must slow myself down and seek Him.
By slowing down Christmas each year, I allow myself to focus on He who is Christmas.
Jesus is Christmas. He is THE Christmas gift.
Slowing down Christmas is my gift to Him.