Drawing near to Christmas, I have decided Facebook has ruined Christmas! There’s so much pressure! Mark Zuckerberg owes all of us a huge apology . . . and maybe a refund. But seriously, besides social media, why do we obsess so much about having the perfect family Christmas? Wouldn’t that require us to have the perfect family?
Regardless of whether you think capturing your family’s entire life on Facebook sounds really cool or really sick, many of us are dealing with a bigger problem at Christmas.
The holiday season could be an emotional minefield with the potential to turn A Christmas Story into The Nightmare Before Christmas. The expectation that you need to have the picture perfect Christmas in order to have a special family holiday carries with it a huge danger. On top of that, since we can’t all be the Queen of the Mommy Bloggers, what is a realistic and life-giving approach to enjoying our family at Christmas?
Try this . . .
- Prayerfully consider what you really want your kids to remember. The laughter, the love, the kindness, and the hope of eternal life in Christ will leave a lasting legacy that far outweighs the holiday stress of shopping, meal prep, and perfect photos. (Matthew 4:16)
- Before the big family gathering, help the kids understand something about grace: Life is messy, relatives aren’t perfect, and we love one another anyway. (Romans 15:7)
- Plant strategic reminders around the house (decorations, Scripture verses, or artwork) that keep Christ in the highest position of honor. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
Remember that God loves your family more than you do, and His love is better than whatever Christmas family memory the Hallmark Channel could ever create. Rest in the love of your Savior. Because Christ has come, you can know peace.
If you’re drowning and life seems to be spinning out of control, don’t keep it to yourself. Reach out. You’re not alone. Family Ministry exists to help. My prayer is that this year you’ll avoid feeling like Ellen Griswold, who famously said to her teenage daughter, “I don’t know what to say, except it’s Christmas and we’re all in misery.”
Our Parenting Pathway blogging community would like to wish you and your family a special Christmas this year—one that is focused on the love of Christ, the peace He gives us, the hope we have for the future, and the joy that can only be found in truly knowing Him.
Emerging from the depths of the late 1970s, Nathan Kocurek spent his formative years under the influence of Hall & Oates, Duran Duran, and other notables while listening to KRBE in Houston on the clock radio beside his bed. Nathan was influenced to love Jesus by the example of his young single mom, and he grew up with a love for God but an incomplete understanding of discipleship. As a result, as a teenager, he indulged in a relentless and, at times, reckless pursuit of social and athletic achievements, seeking to assuage an innermost feeling of emptiness that he could not escape. Finally, by God’s grace, the Spirit of the Lord made it clear to him that none but Jesus could satisfy what he was lacking. The answer had been there all along. Later, Nathan married the girl of his dreams and they ran off to California, had two sons, and returned to Texas where they adopted their sweet daughter. Having served as a Student Minister at two previous churches over the past 18 years, Nathan and his wife, Marie, are now thrilled to follow the calling of Christ at Stonebriar Community Church.