Christmas Eve has always been magical for me.
I have tried to make it the same for my boys. Normally though, I find myself rushing in a mad dash to try and finish all there is to do before the big deadline. This year is no exception, but I have really tried to focus more on the true meaning of Christmas. The whys of it all instead of the rush of it all. I have always found it amazing that we try to cram in just a single month so many extra things that we don't have time for in any other month, but we somehow think we can do it.
I for one am guilty of squeezing in more than is humanly possible. But I still push myself to the very limits. Mostly making sure each and every tradition is carried out without fail.
I have finally learned that it isn't necessary to do everything just in the name of tradition. That has been hard for me, because much like Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, I have always felt that "tradition" is sacred. And it is, but traditions can also be altered to fit the season of life we are currently in.
For example, here I am blogging on Christmas Eve! Never before in the history of Jodi-dom would I take 30 minutes to sit and write or do something that isn't on my long list of things to accomplish before 5:30 a.m. tomorrow morning. And trust me, some years it has taken me that long to get it all done! It's not that I am not organized or that I haven't planned things out, but mainly it's because I've always tried to cram so much in such a short amount of time.
I have never left enough time to just "be" like I talked about in my last post. And just being (I am finally learning) is so much more meaningful than always doing.
If I want to blog on Christmas Eve -which I do because writing for me is so therapeutic - then I can blog. If I want to take the boys somewhere that isn't our "normal tradition", then I will. If one of the traditions doesn't happen, then maybe it is time to re-evaluate that tradition. As my boys get older, I have sadly noticed some of the tried and true traditions just aren't as meaningful for them anymore.
And that's okay.
This year we didn't get out our huge basket of Christmas books. I wrap each book every year and every night of December we un-wrap one and read it. This has always been one of my favorite traditions as well as theirs. It was done faithfully each year for many, many years until this one. No one said anything about it. I was surprised. Maybe they just forgot. I know I did, until a few days into the month. I guess I shouldn't be surprised since they are children's books, and maybe that's just not cool. I should just be grateful McKay said something about our elf coming this year...had he not, I would have forgot! When I asked the boys about the books, they said they did notice, but they thought I was too busy this year to get them out. Ugh....dagger to the heart! ♥ But I was glad they at least did notice.
This Christmas has been unusual in many ways for our family. There have been many things happening that have taken a great deal of time that aren't normally a part of the season. And that is okay too. Each year will be different. I have finally concluded there really isn't a "normal" for anything. Life is full of change and change is life. And there really isn't anything that is normal other than change.
This Christmas I have tried to focus on Christ and not get caught up in the insanity of the season as I always do. Like I said, I have tried. Many days I have still been guilty of only focusing on checking off the items on my to-do list. But the small effort I have made has made a huge difference.
I feel the Savior's love more in my life. I feel His joy and his gladness for the season. I know without any doubt whatsoever that He lives and that He loves each and every one of us. Even more than we can begin to comprehend. I know He came to this earth to die so that we might live again. I know He suffered beyond description to atone for our individual sins and even for the pain associated with our heartaches and sicknessess. When we feel like no one else understands, we can be assured that One does. He has already been there. He did this because of His great love for each of us. I am so grateful I can feel that love. During this Christmas season, I hope and pray that you can too. How grateful I am for the miracle of that birth so many, many years ago! That is really what Christmas is all about.