How does your morning start on Christmas Day?
As a parent, do you have plans or do you let the day carry you as it may? I’ve found I need to strike a balance between spontaneity and intentional planning.
If you are a single parent, chances are you may have to share holidays with an ex-spouse. BLended families have even more adjustments. So being purposeful is important, especially if you only get Christmas with your kids half the day….or worse, every other year.
But strategy has its downsides and sometimes being less organized can be quite relaxing and fun.
I tend to lean more toward planned and intentional activities with my kids on and around Christmas. Rather than reading the Christmas story from scripture on the morning of, together we read verses from the birth of Christ in bite-sized portions throughout the month. This keeps our minds on Him continually.
Then on Christmas Day, I wake the kids to a favorite Christmas song and we dig into our stockings first. Afterward, we hand out presents and watch each person in turn, open their gifts.
But what about those parents who can’t have a perfectly planned morning? What about families who open gifts on Christmas Eve? Or those who have kids with special needs? Christmas isn’t the same for every family, nor does it have to be.
If you have limited time with the kids or you wake up to find Johnny has the flu, being flexible is the key. Don’t lose heart if your child isn’t patient enough to listen to the entire story of Mary and Joseph. If your ex shows up early and you’re not done opening gifts, learn to go with the flow.
Each kid is different and each year is different. There are things out of our control and we must learn to trust God when our plans have to be altered.
In the end, God is bigger than any plans I might have and I’ve learned to trust him. Nothing catches him by surprise. He is bigger than any plans that go awry.
Relax, trust God and have fun.
Yes, we must be intentional about honoring Christ during this holiday. But whether or not Christmas ends up being about Jesus or the presents this year, I have to remind myself, the kids will remember most the atmosphere in the house.
So when things don’t go as planned, I can either emit peace or turmoil during this season. A peaceful spirit eventually makes room for Christ–but rigid control never welcomes Jesus into the mix.