Today is December 1st; this means there are only 25 days until Christmas. Does the thought of this bring excitement, joy, and wonderment, or fear and dread? Or a little bit of all of them? I know for myself, it’s a little bit of all of them. I get so excited about all the things I want to do, then I plan too much and become overwhelmed. I picture my hubby and myself as one of those romanticized Christmas movie couples out on the town joyfully shopping and sipping cocoa, but our romantic evening turns into an argument about why the boy Crazys should not own a BB gun. I dream of the Crazys and me baking up beautiful masterpieces in the kitchen, but that usually ends with the Crazys eating all the cookies and climbing the walls. I realize I don’t live in a Hollywood movie and that the reality of my Christmas past is its insanity, and then depression kicks in.
Last year I decided I would do what a lot of my friends were doing, a little thing called The 25 Days of Christmas. The idea behind The 25 Days of Christmas is to do something fun each day of December to count down the days to Christmas, and to build wonderful memories. Going into this last year I did not realize just the magnitude of how much it would take to accomplish what I had planned. I made my list and was certain it would be exciting and would build memories that would last a lifetime. What I did not do was prepare for each event, and I also did not consider how busy I was. I was attending Bible school, volunteering several hours at my church and at the Crazys’ school, leading a table for MOPS, and running a household. I know some of you are super organized and this would have been a simple task, I am not like you, and needless to say I became a little psycho. Then to make matters worse I was posting a picture each day on Facebook of all the wonderful experiences we were having. The truth of it is there were days when the Crazys just didn’t want to do anything and their psycho momma kept telling them, “We are making memories here, and we need to get that picture on Facebook, people are waiting”. Oh, we were making memories alright.
Remembering just how chaotic (not to mention psycho) the 25 Days of Christmas was last year, I informed the Crazys they didn’t have to worry, they would not be forced to do it this year.
“What! That was really fun,” was their response.
WHAT! Don’t you remember Psycho Momma? Well I remember her, so I went to MY momma for advice on what I should do. She gave me the best advice ever –Pray. And that is exactly what I did. The other day I was having Coffee with God, and I prayed that He would help me to build good memories and that I wouldn’t try to make Christmas a Hollywood movie, and that I would remember just why we celebrate. He sent His answer in the form of three grannies.
The girl Crazy has been wanting new clothes for her Barbie, and well, lets just say the ones in the store are a little too risqué for my taste, so I headed to the fabric store in hopes of finding something a little more modest. Enter the three grannies. I’m not really sure how our conversation began, but before I knew it these grannies were telling me all about their husbands who had passed, how little fabric and patterns used to cost, one of them was teaching her granddaughter to sew, and all three were making special gift for their children and grandchildren. I sat there for close to an hour listening to their stories, and I seriously considered exchanging phone numbers so I could talk with them more. I never did find a pattern for Barbie, but I did realize I didn’t want Christmas to be about the fancy places we could go, or the expensive gifts I could buy, I wanted it to be about little memories and remembering that we don’t give to get, but we give because it helps us to remember what was given to us – a Savior.
I was born in November, so this will be my 43rd Christmas, and I can’t remember most of the presents that were bought for me, but I remember little events and special gifts. Some of my favorite memories are of the Christmas programs I was in at church, saying my little piece of the Bible in front of the church, and then at the end we would always get a candy cane and an orange. We never had a lot of money when I was kid and one year I wanted Barbie furniture, well my mom couldn’t afford the stuff they had in the store, so she made some out of wood and material she had around the house. It was beautiful and it lasted forever, and now as an adult it means so much to me that she would do that. We always made ALL the cookies on Christmas Eve. I always thought this was because my mom wanted really fresh cookies when our guest came, but recently she told me it was because she was a procrastinator (I’m one too, like mother like daughter), but this is such a fun memory for me – all of us in the kitchen covered in flour with dough up to our elbows. We always had cocoa and toast after decorating the tree, and every year we receive PJs from my grandma on Christmas Eve. -Little memories that add up to so much.
Little memories, this is my goal for this year. I may not accomplish all I want, but I’m not going to be hard on myself, and I am definitely going to keep Psycho Momma away. We’re going to celebrate the birth of our Savior, and give because He gave.
Different ways to celebrate the 25 Days of Christmas:
- 25 days of activities
- 25 days of baking (make sure you have someone to share with or you’ll have 25 months of dieting after Christmas)
- 25 days of scripture (read the prophecies about Jesus and the story of His birth)
- 25 names of Jesus (there are more than 25, so this could continue past Christmas)
- 25 days of crafts
- 25 days of Christmas books
- 25 days of Christmas movies
- 25 days of good deeds and charity
- 25 days of ornaments (make a new one each day, maybe put the names of Jesus on them)
- 25 days of chocolate (e.g. those chocolate Advent calendars) or 25 days of treats
The 25 days is only limited by your imagination. Decide what you want your Christmas memories to be and make your 25 Days of Christmas about that.