Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Preparations are Underway!

I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this time of year! I love the lights, the music, the smells, the whole energy that surrounds this wonderful, magical time of year. The children and I have been busy decorating and baking and thinking about Christmas. Our home is decked out with beautiful lights and greenery, it's simply lovely! Our lights haven't been turned off since we set everything up, it's just to beautiful to wake up in the morning to all of the lights. Yesterday, the children and I made Pfefferkuchen. Nothing says Christmas to me like Pfefferkuchen. I love the other traditional Christmas cookies that we make, but Pfefferkuchen has the taste and smell of Christmas. As we were mixing up the dough yesterday, Luke smelled it and said, "Mmmm...that smells like CHRISTMAS!" Yes, he's got it right!

So, I've got the majority of my shopping done...there are a few last minute things that I need to do, but I'm almost there. My children are going to visit Grandma and Papa next week for a few days, and while they're gone, I'll have the opportunity to get everything wrapped and ready to go up to the mountains for Christmas. I've got to send everything up in advance because there just is NOT room in our car for everything! Oh how I dream of the day when we can have Christmas in our own home and not have to travel on the holidays. Maybe one day.

The girls and I have been reading an advent story to keep our focus on Jesus through this season. It's so easy to get wrapped up in all of the traditions and fun things associated with Christmas, and it can be difficult to keep ones mind focused on Jesus, and the TRUE meaning of Christmas. I find myself falling into this trap all of the time because I DO so love the traditions of Christmas. I love the coziness of it all...I love the things that really have no connection to the real meaning of Christmas. Honestly, I feel that if Jesus is not your focus all year long, then why bother at this time of year? HOWEVER, I know there is a danger in replacing the celebration of the birth of my Savior with the celebration of worldliness, so I try to find a balance. It's not an easy thing to do. So while I sing along to the worldly Christmas music and enjoy the lights and the presents and the cookies, I will make a concerted effort to thank Jesus for coming to this earth for me. For humbling Himself and coming, not as the King of Kings that He is, but as a tiny baby...ready to experience every difficulty we face so that He could truly empathize with our plight...and understand that yes, we truly ARE made from dust...we truly ARE encumbered by the flesh and we truly ARE in desperate need of a Savior. Thank you, Jesus...for experiencing this life we live, and for doing it PERFECTLY, without sin, able to present Yourself as our perfect, unblemished Lamb when the time came. You experienced all of our temptations and You prevailed. Thank you, Jesus!

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