While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have the baby, and she gave birth to her first son. Because there were no rooms left in the inn, she wrapped the baby with pieces of cloth and laid him in a feeding trough.
Luke 2:6-7 (NCV)
What does a successful holiday look or feel like to you? A disastrous Thanksgiving or Christmas might be a funny story in years to come, but what about while it is going on? I remember that scene in Tim Allen’s movie, The Santa Clause, where he burns the turkey and he ended up taking his son out to eat on Christmas Eve. What about that scene in the iconic movie, A Christmas Story, where Bumpus’ dogs break into the house and completely destroy Christmas dinner, even making off with most of the turkey? The family eats at the only place they can find open, a Chinese restaurant, and endure badly sung Christmas carols.
If your holiday was something like one of those scenes, would it be a disaster? If you made Thanksgiving or Christmas the ultimately perfect event, would it create more love, belonging, fellowship, and grace in your family than an imperfect, or even disastrous, holiday?
Here is what I’m going to do coming into the year’s major holiday season. I’m going to consider that maybe what I do, the perfection of the to-do list, the perfection of the holiday meal, finding the perfect gifts, or whatever my expectations have been in the past are less important than who I am doing any of that with. The most perfect Christmas ever took place in a barn with farm animals because of no room in the inn, a scenario that most of us would call a disaster. Focus on the gift of relationship and we’re all going to be okay through the holidays.
Dr. Seuss wrote, “Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. “