The following is not original with me (how could it be–I’m not a woman?) but I believe it speaks a great deal about how we get wrapped up in so much busy activity this time of year. Read it and let me know what you think.
Are you one of them? I couldn’t have said this any better than Sarah Condon of Mockingbird.
“(They, pre-Christmas women) stand as the doers of the holiday season. We make sure our Pintrest boards are updated with all of the rustic, yet festive decor our brains can stand. We judge people who are just now starting to shop for gifts (don’t they have a Zulily account?). The baking of pies, dressing of children, buying of gifts, tablescaping of tables, and entertaining of people falls almost squarely on us.
They are the mothers who are almost always the ones who think of everything to shove into this Season of Joy. Typically, we are the ones who attempt to dress toddlers in matching jumpers for another failed attempt at the cutest Christmas card ever. We are the ones who thought it would be a great idea to have a”vintage” themed tree. And we are the ones who attempt to bake the winning cookie recipe for Cooks Illustrated magazine. Twice. This time of year can feel like our army of berry-colored dresses and black patent heels is solely making Christmas happen. And it can feel hard. And tiresome.
And sermons during Advent (that is, pre-Christmas) are literally the worst offenders. All too often the preacher gets up to preach to people in the pews (many of whom are ladies) about how “we” do too much at Christmas. While culture may offer us a legalism of Christmas that involves overspending and overindulging, the church seems to sell its own kind of legalism: the season before Christmas should be holy, quiet, and deeply meaningful.
The thing is, I do not have some grand suggestion for helping the plight of the Women of Pre-Christmas. As I count myself among their ranks, I feel like I am too far in the trenches to be objective. And really, any suggestion I could make will only add to our to-do list or to our sense of spiritual guilt. No thanks.
Here’s your ‘lights please’ moment: God came among us in the person of Jesus Christ. No amount of shopping will improve upon that occurrence. And no number of family singalongs of “Silent Night” will do the job either. So, ladies (and those rare gents) make your Advent Calendars on a sewing machine. Go overboard on the trinkets for your kid’s stocking. And for the love of everything holy, haul out your Kentucky Memaw’s homemade Eggnog recipe. I am right there with you. But when your blood pressure starts to rise about which cookie to make for Santa or how many nativity sets to display on the mantle, remember that we are all walking with sin sick souls. And thank God that sweet Jesus, our Great Physician, came to heal us forever.
Christmas is already perfect. It always has been. Christ came among us in the direst of circumstances to save us from ourselves. We can do nothing to improve upon such beautiful perfection. What a relief.”