Inviting the Prince of Peace to Your Family Christmas

Silent Night, Holy Night….

All is calm, all is bright….

As a mom of two young girls, I have almost forgotten what the words “silent” and “calm” even mean, especially in this crazy season of the year that we call Christmas. Between the shopping, the baking, the church events, the children’s programs and everything else that comes along with this season, I wouldn’t exactly use the word “peaceful” to describe it.

Not only are our bodies physically pushed from seeing how much we can actually do in a one month period, our emotions can also be in turmoil as we stress about making the perfect dessert, wonder if we are putting “Christ in Christmas” enough for our kids, calculating our checkbooks to make sure we can afford everything and bracing ourselves for complicated family situations as we balance who to see and when.

Ah, yes. Christmas.

The season that we set aside to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace is anything but peaceful.

For many years, I was blinded to the unhealthy chaos that took over my life in the name of Christmas. After all, it was normal. 

Normal…

Normal, that is, until I celebrated my first Christmas in the Middle East; in a Muslim country where only a very small percentage of people even knew what the word Christmas meant.

There were no parties to attend. No special programs on television. No big sales to catch.

There were no Christmas decorations, or Christmas cards. No special events. No carolers. Nothing. 

I walked out of my house on December 23rd to purchase a gift for my husband and there was not a hint of Christmas anywhere around me. The buses and taxis were still honking, bazaar vendors were still shouting their prices to attract attention.

The older women were still sitting outside in the cold, gossiping about the neighbors. The normal hustle and bustle of a large city bumped into me as I carried on my task, continuing to be amazed at how different life was here than back home.

It was my first Christmas without Christmas culture. It was my first Christmas solely focused on Jesus. For the first time, I felt I had a Christmas that was “peaceful.”

This, I thought, must be the key to a peaceful Christmas: no activities, no big meals, no pressure for presents. At the end of the day, however, I still felt the same empty feelings inside of me that I had often found at the end of Christmas day back home.

Sometimes, we allow ourselves to become victims of the Christmas crazy without even realizing it. We drown ourselves in baking for Christmas cookie exchanges and we stay up in the wee hours of the night perfecting advent calendar projects for our children. As moms, we want to see our family light up with joy during this season.

We want to give our children special memories that they will reflect fondly upon once they are adults themselves. Oftentimes at Christmas, we moms sacrifice our own spiritual state for the sake of a happy Christmas for our family. This, however, is not the answer.

What’s the key to a happy Christmas?

The world tries to offer it’s answers, but:

The key to a peaceful Christmas is not simplifying our schedules.

The key to a peaceful Christmas is not saving as much money as possible.

Friends… the key to a peaceful Christmas is not avoiding those family members who are extra challenging to love.

The key to a peaceful Christmas, mommas, is instilling the peace of Christ into our own hearts.

This Christmas, let’s take some time to remember how Christ rules over our lives as the ultimate Prince of Peace.

Let’s be still, and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10).

Let us go to the Lord as we are weary and burdened, so that He may give us rest (Matthew 11:28).

Let us cast all of our anxieties on Him because he cares for us  (1 Peter 5:7).

And let us have peace, because He has overcome the world (John 16:33).

He is a Lord of Peace

Ultimately, may our hearts sing praises to the King of Kings who reigns not as a Lord of chaos, but as a Lord of peace. When we set our hearts to focus on the peace of the Lord, everything else this Christmas season will fall right into its proper place.

In the words of Paul as he opens his first letter to Peter, may grace and peace be multiplied to you.

Merry Christmas, from my home to yours.

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