Reflections of Hope and Christmas

It’s okay to embrace the mess along with the hope

This is for those of us who love Christmas but our homes may not reflect it the way we want it to.

It’s for those of us who clear off a surface to put out cherished Christmas decorations only to find the space covered up days or even hours after finishing the task.

It’s for those of us who work hard to organize our space, but it feels like a Sisyphean task and like we won’t ever be ready for Christmas. Our Christmas decorations sit in boxes or bins where the tree should go or are set beside the tree so that we have maneuver around them throughout the day. Along with the decorations, they hold our hopes of setting them out and making space for Christmas.

It’s for those of us whose pre-lit tree is up but the lights don’t work and none of your efforts get the lights to work. You’ve been intending to string new strands of lights to create a festive glow, but life keeps happening, and like the unlit lights, your hopes grow dim.

It’s for those of us with grand expectations and high hopes for Advent that are never started, or are started but not done every day. And we chastise ourselves for not being ready enough for Christmas, afraid our lack of decorations or tidiness reflects a lack of Christmas cheer.

But, here’s the thing, friends.

All you can do is your best each day. You can show up for the people you love and be present. You can hold onto the hope of Advent even if you can do no more than that. You can embrace the idea that Christmas is exactly what you need right now. You can reflect on the coming of a Savior.

Even so, I get it.

It can be hard to scroll through Facebook and Instagram and see others’ beautiful spaces, their homes tidy, organized, festive, and inviting. Their photos reflect all the things you’d hoped to do.

It’s hard not to be hard on yourself because your house is a mess and you feel overwhelmed or like you don’t measure up on social media.

But, take heart, dear ones, and extend yourself some grace. No, extend yourself a lot of grace. And embrace the hope of this Advent season.

You can celebrate the season no matter how many decorations sit in boxes instead of on the shelves or the tree branches. You can celebrate perfectly with your crew — family and friends — in your imperfect house.

You can celebrate in the midst of the mess, the clutter, the unhung decorations, the joy, the upset. You can celebrate in the midst of your life, whatever it looks like. Yes, you can celebrate in your upside down mess of a house and life because it’s your home.

It’s your home.

They’re your people.

You are loved.

There is hope.

photo credit — Nile on Pixabay

It’s Advent, dear ones.

God came down into this messed-up, chaotic, broken, hurting world. He entered into the darkness that first Christmas night. He brought light, comfort, and hope to a world that desperately needed it.

And He still does.

And He doesn’t need you or your house to be tidy or perfectly decorated.

He just needs you to be present.

And, that, I know we can all do.

Reflect on that, friends as you embrace the hope of Advent this week.

“It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags! Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. ‘Maybe Christmas,’ he thought, ‘doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.’” — from Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas

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