Monday, December 9, 2013

The Perfect Christmas

Photo by Lisa Worley Photography

Photo by Lisa Worley Photography
The pictures above were taken by my cousin-in-law, Lisa, who takes fabulous pictures, and these are a couple we took at her house. The appearance we were going for was that my son had crawled under the tree and was into a little mischief and also to get a shot of his cute reindeer hiney. And the second picture was to capture that "I caught you" moment.  The pictures (all of them) turned out wonderful.  But in actuality, my son isn't crawling, he's rolling, so I placed him under the tree myself. And there were numerous pictures that were taken of him trying to eat the presents, ribbons and other props- which is kinda adorable, but not the picture we were wanting.  And I workd up a sweat just trying to keep things out of his mouth and wiggle a jingle bear to get his attention and then try to make him smile and laugh.  But all that struggle isn't seen in the final results.  By appearances we placed him and he did a cute pose or adorable laugh and snap there it is frozen in time as a perfect picture.

And while that may work for actual picture taking, it doesn't work that way in life.  I've noticed this time of year especially, there seems to be such pressure to have "it all together."  We work ourselves into a tizzy trying to have just the right gift to give, wrapped perfectly, and a Christmas Tree that is perfectly centered with all the "holes" turned to the back.  We plan menus that would feed armies and try to create this perfect Christmas experience in our homes. And after days and weeks of trying to have a perfectly orchestrated season, we exhaust ourselves.  Or we may become so difficult to live with that by Christmas, relationships are strained and everyone is just ready for it all to be over!

How sad that this "picture perfect" Christmas has become our ideal of how Christmas should be. The truth of the matter is that the more we are focused on the "prettying" up of Christmas, the more we miss the whole point of Christmas.  Christmas is about Jesus.

Luke 2:11-12 says, "For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger."

I guarantee this was not at all the "picture perfect" day that Mary would have wanted.  What mother wants to have her baby outside in a stable?  But the setting didn't have to be perfect for the perfect baby to be born.  And I imagine Mary and Joseph celebrated his birth anyway.  And when the shepherds arrived they celebrated some more.  Because it's not about the perfect tree, the perfect meal or the perfect setting and decorations-- Christmas is about the perfect Savior, Jesus Christ.

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