The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Treasure the chaos

The Christmas story — even Mary's own exhaustion — can help us refocus

I find Christmas exhausting.

Don't get me wrong. I like Christmas. I enjoy being with family and friends, and seeing my children's wonder and glee. I'm just exhausted by the season, which in my mind begins in November and doesn't finish until mid-January. There are Christmas parties and Christmas programs and Christmas services and Christmas decorations and Christmas cookies and Christmas presents and Christmas dinners. All of these require planning and execution.

Getting ready for Christmas is like going to battle. Check the calendar. Develop a plan of attack for multiple celebrations — especially on Christmas Day.

Getty images/Pascal CampionOn Dec. 25 we need to start opening presents at 0700 hours, leave the house by 1100 hours to visit one side of the family, leave at 1600 hours to make it to the next family event, attend the Christmas service at 1800 hours, and get back home for bedtime by 2100 hours.

My daughters have uniforms: fancy Christmas dresses, Christmas PJs and the requisite Christmas sweaters. There are rations: Christmas cookies, veggie trays and rolls for each event. And our vehicle must be fueled and ready to go with the right presents for the right people at the right event.

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