Last week Snipp had a hard time getting to sleep. So I allowed him to come camp out on my floor and we had a good mother/son chat. One thing he shared was "Mom, I feel like I am a lamb and Christmas is a dinosaur chasing me." I so understood what he felt. There are certain times of the year when grief seems more overwhelming than others. I had been on the verge of tears quite often through out the passed few days. I kept trying to stay focused on Christ and press onward, but I felt the joy just being sucked right out of me.
As I often do when I feel overwhelmed, I called on my Praying Sisters to help me carry the burden. Then my preacher preached about how not to lose Jesus during the holidays. One of the things mentioned was keeping traditions.
Traditions are a blessing. On our first Christmas after we were married, we had no money for presents. So I patched my husband's favorite coat and we rejoice when God unthawed our well pump. That year I started a tradition. I wrote down blessings the Lord had given us through the year and shoved the slips of paper down into our stockings. And each year since then we have focused on our blessing stockings. Till Jim died. Hanging his stocking was just impossible and I didn't want to hang ours without his. So that year, I took a little cedar box and put in pictures or things to symbolize blessings/treasures God had given us. A picture of our van and house, a gold cross, a watch, a bible, etc. Then last year I found the answer. Treasure Boxes!!!! So instead of stockings, we have treasure boxes that each year has a list of treasures/gifts from Jesus. What a joy and blessing to read last years treasures as I prepared the boxes for today. We also had written down what we were going to give Jesus for Christmas. Some things given in the past were Daddy's favorite blanket, smiles, 1/2 with Him each am and pm.
Another tradition we added was one Daddy started the last Christmas he was with us. In my stocking was a clue to find my gift. It ended up being in the dryer!!! Anyway, so also in each treasure box now is a clue for example: Go to a book that has a picture of David praying like Daddy did. Then there is another clue. For example:Go to something that holds "fire sticks". And then the last clue leads them to some presents hidden. For example: Now, Look behind something big, green, and comfy Dad liked to read in. As we all know, the figuring out the clues and the hunt is about as much fun as getting the gifts. It is also a reminder that treasures have to be sought after. Like the wisemen did to find Jesus. And that we too need to seek Christ to find Him.
Another thing we decided as a family to go sing to some people who we knew were hurting. We were a little nervous at first, but young children singing the way they can was cute and hilarious as well. The smiles on their faces was just priceless.
It is amazing to me how keeping these simple traditions and reaching out to others tamed that dinosaur! I fully expect more grief waves to come, but at least Christmas isn't something hunting us down anymore.
Merry Christmas everyone!! And may Christ be the focus of your Christmas!