Monday, December 7, 2009

Not Becoming Clark Griswold

I have to admit that "Christmas Vacation" is one of my favorite movies this time of year, despite its sometimes, can I say inappropriate? sense of humor. My husband goes around quoting cousin Eddie, "Nice Clark, Reeeallll Nice...." I love it because all Clark wants is a perfect Christmas for his family. He tries so hard (can you say a gazillion lights on the house!) and nothing seems to go his way. Okay, if you haven't seen the movie, none of this is funny to you... but if you have, you know what I mean!

Anyway, it is so hard in this world of crazy, sensational Christmas idealogy to stay focused on the true reason of this holiday. Like Clark, we want Christmas to be an unforgettable time for those we love. We get sucked into buying more and more gifts as a way of making it the best Christmas ever! As a parent it is a challenge to raise children who don't fixate on Santa and their mile-long list of toys they want from him. Our family follows tradition and we do have Santa visit our house, but we do our best to keep redirecting our kids to the birth of Christ as the reason for our celebration. I am trying my best not to overschedule this season with too many activities so we can enjoy time together at home, making cookies and delivering them to neighbors, playing games, listening to music. We are doing an advent calendar devotion every day (thanks Amy!) and the kids absolutely love it. It is taking the time to sit down and cherish those moments with the kids I don't want to become like Clark, so busy trying to make everyone happy that I forget to stop, take time and just enjoy being together. Like Clark when he gets locked in the attic, dresses up in old clothes and watches old home videos, I want to remember the time I spent with my loved ones celebrating the birth of Christ, not the gifts I gave them or they gave me.

How do you stay grounded during the Christmas season? Do you have any family traditions? I would love to hear about them!

"So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in a manger. when they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told to them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all the things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told." Luke 2:16-20

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