Many of us are knee deep in gift wrapping, shopping and baking. It is about this time in December that I start getting a little on edge and I can’t pinpoint exactly why. I sat down last night and shuffled through my brain to see if I could list all the things that might be causing the problem. Is it the fact that I have only bought one gift so far? Is it because I haven’t even printed our Christmas photo for cards? Is it because I have three Christmas parties at my house within 4 days of each other? Is it because I haven’t even gone to the grocery yet? Is it because I hate to go to the grocery? Is it because plane tickets are cost prohibitive for my son to spend Christmas with us? Is it because it’s an incredibly stressful time for my husband with deadlines? Is it because I can’t get the charcoal colored nail polish off my toes? Is it because I feel like I am getting a cold? Is it because I keep hearing the same Christmas songs everywhere I go? Well, as stress provoking, as these things are I believe it is really one thing more specifically…
The clutter in my home brought on by this time of year is what I pinpoint as the real culprit. I don’t like a mess, ever. To have extra stuff everywhere finally begins to drive me crazy. Oh sure, I start out the end of November excited and listening to Christmas music way too early. I love the night we pull out all the decorations and I, again, say hello to the priceless ornaments that seem like part of the family. I love to see the house transformed into a lovely Christmas scene. I love the smell of sugar cookies baking. I love to drink a pumpkin spice latte. I love to watch the Hallmark channel cheesy Christmas movies. I love to eat bowls of peppermint ice cream. I love to see everyone’s family Christmas photos. I love to give people gifts. I love to wear red sweaters, boots and scarves. I especially love it if we get snow. As great as all these things are, the charm begins to wear off as my house becomes more and more cluttered. Everywhere I look I see stuff! I start feeling the nerve endings under my skin standing on edge as I look around each room.
I am not going to preach a sermon on the evils of material things today. I am simply identifying the source of my tension so I can step back and breath deeply. I am removing the burden I feel by the mess. I am embracing the madness and know I can live with the mess for two more weeks. Maybe you are like me and find clutter agitating. Join me in recognizing the source and deciding to rise above the clutter to embrace the joy of the season we felt in November. I’m reminding myself it is about Jesus after all! I ask myself how would Jesus act in a cluttered house? I’m picturing him leaning back on the sofa as he moves the stuff to the side without judgement or comment. I see him laughing and hanging out with the people he loves so very much. So, I will share my counter space with a big metal snowman. I will go to the grocery store. I will finish shopping (online though). I will wrap all the gifts. I will celebrate with friends and family. I will get that photo printed and mailed out. I will choose to rejoice in what each day brings. I will rest in knowing it all gets done, or it doesn’t … either way life goes on. January will come and my house will be clutter free and streamlined once again.
There is, however, one thing I will never do … enjoy listening to the song, “A Partridge in a Pear Tree.” Why oh why did my love send me a partridge in a pear tree? Why two turtle doves, what is a turtledove? Why three French hens, four calling birds, five golden rings, six geese laying, seven swans a swimming, eight maids a milking, nine ladies dancing, ten lords a leaping, eleven pipers piping, twelve drummers drumming? Why do ten lords leap? (But not just leaping, they are “a” leaping!) These things I do not understand and don’t care to understand. I just am begging to never have to hear that song again. So, on these twelve days before Christmas please help me to just say no to this song. I can endure every other annoying thing the holiday season brings, but that song has got to go!
I’m keeping my eyes on Jesus every day. Hope you have a stress-free holiday season too.