Thursday, December 17, 2009

Giving Up On My Idea of a Perfect Christmas

I had such high hopes for my Christmas this year...and it started with my tree.

Last year I purchased fun and funky ornaments on sale after Christmas. I immediately put them on the tree and they were perfect. It didn't even bother me that it was after Christmas. I still enjoyed those ornaments on that tree.

In March of this year our small town experienced a flood.
Yep, that's our house and the street we live on!

We lost most of the belongings we had in our basement, including our pre-lit Christmas tree. My parents graciously gave us a beautiful tree they had so we wouldn't be without a tree.

On November 1st, we put up our new tree. I wanted to be able to stretch out my perfect Christmas for two months. Unfortunately, our new tree wasn't pre-lit (and we had no lights), so we just left it sitting there undecorated. By November 10th, I had purchased lights and we had a wonderful time decorating our tree...and it looked great. I wish I had taken a picture... I even wrapped tons of presents and put them under the tree.

Although the tree looked great, the rest of my house wasn't looking so impressive. We live in a fixer-upper that still needs a lot of fixin-up. We'd love to get the inside painted, but unfortunately that meant we needed to get the drywall repaired. We scheduled the drywall repair people to come the Monday after Thanksgiving. He quoted that he would only need"8-10" hours of work to get the job done.

So, we undecorated the tree and put most of the presents in the upstairs closet. We moved the tree to a different spot so that it was out of the way of the drywall workers and I told the family we could decorate as soon as the drywall guys finished up.
Look at the beautifully wrapped gifts under the tarp!

Unfortunately, that 8-10 hours that he quoted us is still going on. There have been lots of days they've been unable to come for one reason or another. They've been sick or busy with other jobs. Plus, my hubby was out of town for a few days so they couldn't come then. And the days they are here, they leave more dust than you could possibly imagine. With one week til Christmas, my home looks like this!

This isn't the ideal situation at Christmas time. I want a warm, welcoming home. I want my family to be surrounded by beautiful things, not tarps and drywall dust.

I'm sure that's what Mary wanted on that very first Christmas too. I'm sure that bringing her baby into the world in a dirty cold stable wasn't the ideal situation for her. I'm sure she envisioned things differently. She probably imagined a perfect Christmas. Christ coming into the world in a comfortable room surrounded by beautiful things. Instead, the Messiah was born in a dirty smelly animal enclosure.

And although Christ was born in a dirty place, I don't want him to live in a dirty place.

I want my home to be a place where Jesus would feel welcomed. I want Him to see that my life is not overwhelmed by busyness and the unimportant. I want a heart that is overflowing with love. I want the dirt in me to be scrubbed away by my repentant attitude and the cleansing blood of Jesus. I want the words that flow from my lips to be words seasoned with grace and hope.

I want to remember that the only perfect Christmas was in a stable when Emmanuel came to dwell with us. God with us...Emmanuel...the perfect Christmas!

Join Mary and those who are "Giving Up On a Perfect Christmas" over at Giving Up On Perfect.

This post is linked to Finer Things Friday because there is nothing finer than Emmanuel...God with Us and Photo Story Friday.

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Blogger Chris said...

I think the Savior will feel welcome in any home where there is love and thoughtfulness.

I'm sure your home is full of both.

Have a wonderful Christmas.

December 18, 2009 at 12:12 PM  
Blogger Pam Dyson, MA, PLPC said...

Your situation is a reminder that we should never overlook the small things that really make Christmas special.

December 18, 2009 at 2:33 PM  
Blogger Diana - FreeStyleMama said...

Stopping by to follow from Mom Bloggers Club!

Happy Holidays!!

December 18, 2009 at 10:37 PM  
Blogger Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

Lisa, great analogy for the true meaning of Christmas. But, still - what a BUMMER! I hope your house gets all fixed up in the next few days, but even if it doesn't, I just know you'll have a great holiday with your family. (And how impressed am I that you had gifts bought in November?!?!?) :)

December 19, 2009 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger Young Wife said...

Thank you for this encouraging post and for remembering the true meaning of Christmas!

December 20, 2009 at 9:03 AM  
Blogger Joy said...

Hang in there! Have a merry Christmas, and thanks for visiting my blog last week. It's nice to "meet" you!

December 20, 2009 at 11:07 PM  

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