But it takes work.
Weeks of shopping, followed by hours of wrapping.
And don't get me started on addressing, stamping and stuffing Christmas cards.
Christmas can get a bad rap for the toll it takes on schedules and our pocketbooks. And yet, even when we work to be intentional about our activities and expenditures--to honor God in it all--that can be incredibly time/emotion consuming as well.
But it is worth it.
When I sit in front of the fireplace watching a Christmas special with my kiddos--the scent of evergreen in the air and twinkling lights casting a glow to the room-- I count all the work as a worthwhile investment.
When my trio squeal with delight as they bound down the stairs to discover a visit from our silly elves, I am no longer counting the cost. I am reveling in the payout.
The thought struck me this morning when I was doing my least favorite Christmas chore...watering the trees.
I love a fresh, live tree. The scent is an essential part of the season for me...but I abhor the contortionism it requires to get those things watered. Every few days in December I find myself prostrate on the floor, prickly branches near my eyeballs, stray pine needles in my hair, precariously close to spilling water on presents and floors.
|I'm not sure what's stranger...that I asked my daughter to photograph this or that I posted it on the Internet.|
This is a true first world problem...but it serves as a metaphor for so much more. I thought about Mary...surely she could not comprehend how a virgin pregnancy, a painful camel ride at full term or childbirth in a stable would look from the perspective of history.
And I thought more practically about daily wife/motherhood duties. Nursing little ones through stomach bugs, the monotony of nitty gritty housecleaning, taking out the trash, teaching life lessons to little wounded hearts...it is all part of the often thankless and unglamorous job.
But when we step back and survey the landscape--how little ones are maturing in their faiths and their lives--how a house is embraced as a haven from the world--how our hearts are being changed as the Lord guides us through loving theirs--it is a perspective that changes everything.
Let's go water some trees!