Christmas is a busy time for everyone. But it also can be a stressor for many. Even if you absolutely LOVE the holiday—travel, finances, time constraints, challenging people, and difficult circumstances can overwhelm the merriest Christmas diehard. Wherever you fall on the Christmas holiday scale, the best gift you can give yourself and others this season is giving up the idea of the perfect Christmas. Instead, hold your plans loosely—and hang your expectations on the mantle of man’s imperfection.
One particular year, life’s overwhelm threatened to ruin my sweet mama’s Christmas. I’m guessing it may have been the year she got hit by the “food tray” cart at the hospital while getting some routine testing done. It knocked her out cold. She only weighed about 115 lbs soaking wet. But my mama lived 50 weeks out of the year for this two week stretch of familial bliss. And her carefully curated, perfect plans were quickly unraveling.
“We’ll just have a perfectly ‘imperfect’ Christmas this year,” I told her. The phrase signaling “the perfection” would be in our imperfection. Our lack of getting all the things bought—and done! Our inability to achieve holiday exemplariness and the dashing of misguided hope that we could ever compete with the soft and low, holy moment of ushering in the birth a Baby King, paved the way for the sweetest. Christmas. ever.
“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy to love.”*
Maybe life’s incredulous, ever-changing circumstances contributed to its necessity, but I’ve had to learn [and relearn] over the years to embrace the fluidity that each year brings. When I remember the lesson, I don’t miss the rigidity of trying to do it all—perfectly! Nope. Not one bit. The love and warmth of an imperfect family who believes is far superior to all the magical things we seek to fill our stocking-shaped hearts. Achieving the perfection of a Hallmark moment can never replace the authentic moments of love, connection, and belonging, true Perfection brings.
Whether your Christmas plans are planned exquisitely or completely lack-luster this holiday season, seek to make room for the One who was made perfect to fill our hearts with peace, hope, joy, and love.
“But we do see Jesus—made lower than the angels for a short time…“ [Heb. 2:9a CSB]
And it was “fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens…” [Heb. 2:10 ESV]
“Having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation.” [Heb. 5:9]
What ways can you embrace a perfectly, imperfect Christmas this year? By doing less? Offering forgiveness? Or simply making the decision to make room for the rushing in of advent—the coming of a baby King!
May your Christmas be filled with the wondrous joy of His love, first and foremost, friends. And may you have the most perfectly, imperfect Christmas ever—Merry Christmas! 💕
* Hamilton Wright Mabie