Misty and Davidson have a tradition of making Christmas cookies during the Christmas season. Some of the cookies turn out looking like they should, while some of the others have “unique” shapes. They all taste good when they are covered with icing! Regardless, the best part of baking cookies isn’t having a plate of perfectly baked and decorated cookies. It’s in the fun time they have baking and icing and enjoying their yearly tradition together.
We are currently living in a culture that talks about having the “perfect Christmas”. TV movies show beautifully decorated homes and towns that don’t have a wreath or light out of place. Tables and counters are filled with perfectly decorated cookies, cakes and other goodies and the meals are all perfectly prepared and luxurious. Everyone is dressed to fit the season and gentle snowflakes flutter down to create the perfect atmosphere. The implicit lesson is that this is how Christmas should look and we should strive to have a Christmas that looks like this.
Of course, no Christmas looks like this in the real world. During the season of Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Christ. Even the birth of Christ was messy. Jesus came to be born of a young girl who was a virgin and engaged to a man from her small village. This created an incredibly messy situation. (Imagine explaining this to your parents or fiancé.!) Jesus was born in a manger surrounded by livestock because there were no vacancies in the inn. Jesus was born in very messy circumstances. We all know that the birthing process itself is messy. Jesus wasn’t born without being covered with the mess of birth. Jesus was born in the midst of blood, sweat and the cries of his mother. From the very beginning, the story of Christmas has been messy.
So, if your Christmas season has gotten off to a messy start, you are in good company. If your lights aren’t twinkling and your cookies got burnt and your tree is lopsided, it’s ok. If your shopping list is still long and your money is running short, don’t stress out about the messiness of it all. Jesus came to a messy world, to be born in messy circumstances, in order to save us from the mess that sin has brought to our lives. The story of Christmas has always been about the mess. In the midst of the mess, God did His best work.
Don’t allow the pressure to have a “Hallmark Christmas” cause you to miss the joy of this season. Instead, embrace the messiness of this season and be thankful a child was born who came to save us from the mess of sin in our lives. Be thankful for the gift of Christ. Enjoy your messy family and friends. Savor these precious days that God has given us to enjoy this season. Christmas is messy. Enjoy the mess!