It's hard to ignore when the number of days until Christmas is 25 and counting.
Christmas at work means portfolios are almost due, Christmas gifts need to be made and wrapped, Christmas concert needs to be practised again (and again).
Christmas for me is stressful. Trying to find the right gifts. Making sure no one misses out. Making sure the gifts are actually something they will enjoy. Scheduling in all the catch ups that need to happen. Baking Christmas goodies to give to friends and family. Added into the mix this year is the overseas trip I head off on in 27 days.
But this year I don't want to be stressed, I don't want extra expectations. I want to rejoice with friends and family, spend time with the special people God has brought into my life. I want to enjoy these 25 days of advent.
I want the true meaning of Christmas to shine in my life; God loving the world so much He sent his son as a little baby, to one day grow up and take the weight of my sin on himself so I can come to God without guilt. This is more important than the perfect present, the prettiest Christmas decorations, the best Christmas cooking. Those things are great, but are not worth stressing over.
Jesus died and rose again, so I can live my life without fear, with his peace in my heart.
These 25 days, I want my first thought of Christmas to be thankfulness to God, not stress of the season. With Gods help, I am able.