A Country Christmas

There is just something special about the Christmas season!

  There is also something so busy about it!

We try and fill the 31 days of December with all things festive – baking, decorating, entertaining, shopping, concerts, school and church musicals, parties, correspondence, wrapping, connecting, and the list goes on – all in 31 days!

Add on top of all of the above – our busy work schedules – with the pressures as great in this day and age as they ever have been!  How to balance it all and still come out of this month with the joy that this time of year is meant to celebrate!

 I love this season – it is a beautiful time of year with the gorgeous lights, and greens, and the excitement of getting together and eating great food and laughing with family and friends.  I would not change it for the world!

Maybe this is why I love the country Christmas theme so much – in my mind I see Christmas as a time of year where we can slow down, and enjoy the simple things in life – like family, friends, music, good food and the beauty of nature.  I suppose so much of this is in my imagination – to create this open door, candle lit, snow covered picture requires planning, and lots of hustle and bustle and work!

How do we balance all of these expectations in 31 days?  The age old question that many people are asking I am sure.  Maybe there is no answer other than to realize that Christmas is about creating memories – and there is no simple way around that.  It requires planning and shopping, and decorating and it is tiring!

But at the end of the day – what better way to be rewarded than to see the joy on children’s faces on Christmas morning, or the laughter that spills out from the turkey laden dining table, or the comfort that family and friends feel when they nestle into a cozy living room with a twinkling tree, glowing candles, and drink hot apple cider and nibble on the home baked goods that you thought you would never get baked.

Christmas memories are forever – and there is no season that perhaps requires as much work as Christmas – but it is a magical time of year that brings great joy to so many – even if they have no idea how much work is required to create a laid back and relaxed country Christmas!

I find my joy in creating joy for others – creating memories – in seeing the beauty of the season in the faces of those who appreciate the creativity required to make these memories special!  It is worth all of the hustle and bustle and work!

After all, anything of great worth and beauty was not created without work – think of the great music and art compositions that we enjoy – or the books that are written that take our  souls to another place – all enjoyed with little effort – but  created with great effort!  Creating a Christmas celebration can be a work of art – a memory that touches the very core of who we are as families, and as communities of friends.

If you put the work into the creation you will be rewarded – the beauty of creating the memories and the traditions that touch the heart and soul of who we are is worth every effort!

I realize that as I write this post that this time of year is difficult for many people- those who have no families, those who have no home – those who are suffering in different ways emotionally, and physically.  This can be a lonely and desolate time of year – especially with so much emphasis on belonging.  I am reminded that the very one whose birthday we celebrate came in poverty – with no pomp or circumstance.  And I am reminded that we are called to care for those who are hurting, to feed those who are hungry and to give of ourselves in love.  I am reminded that we must open our hearts and our homes and give of ourselves and our resources to care for the weak and the poor.  May this work of art – this tradition that we create each year – may its beauty reach those who need it most – and may the love and joy that we have in our hearts overflow to others – not just in our families – or our communities – but those in our cities, our countries and all over the world.

This comes at the end of this post not to be a P.S. – but to be the final word  – the benediction so to speak to all of our Christmas thoughts – our Christmas plans.  May our hearts be open to sharing our wealth – our love – and our joy!

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