Simply Christmas

Today’s post comes from Susan Reinhardt over at Christian Writer Reader Connection. Susan is indeed a connector and has blessed me beyond measure with her insights and wisdom in the writing/blogging world. Her topic is one that is near and dear to my heart, just what the Lord has been speaking to me about.

Simply Christmas

I’m one of those people who jump into projects with both feet. Instead of making a few dozen cookies, I made 1,500. Rolling the dough, cutting out stars, bells, and tiny trees, glazing and decorating all brought back joyful memories. This intense activity also took days, kept me in the kitchen long past bedtime, and left me exhausted.

Shopping, wrapping, writing Christmas cards, and decorating the house with the same abandon blurred the true meaning of the season. They were all good traditions, but were they necessary?

Somewhere along the line, I realized my crazy Christmas preparations needed a healthy dose of moderation. I asked myself several questions:

1. Did the recipients care whether the gift wrapping looked like a work of art?
2. Did I need to make 10 varieties of cookies in huge quantities?
3. Did I have to write a letter in each Christmas card when a short note would work?

The other questions related to what would make Christmas a joyful time:

1. Did I make time to read the Christmas story?
2. Did I have time to laugh, drink hot chocolate, and watch a Christmas movie?
3. Did I relax and enjoy my family or stress out racing from one task to another?

Simplify is the name of the game these days. Jesus is once again the priority, my home is peaceful, and the joy is back.


Thanks Susan. Here's another question that someone asked me years ago:
If you do (or don't) do this (or that), will it really upset the cosmic order of the universe?
I've learned to do less and enjoy more. I'm less frantic, more peaceful, less stressed, more blessed. I wonder what Mary, Joseph or the shepherds would say if they saw how today we honor the babe born in the simplest of circumstances.


Jean Fischer said...

Another great post from Susan Reinhardt. Thanks for sharing it with us!

Karen Lange said...

We often over complicate things, don't we? Thanks to both Susans for sharing this. :)

Rhonda Schrock said...

So true, Susan! Thank you for that peek into your heart and for making things simple again.

Thank you for having her, "Other Susan." :)

Terri Tiffany said...

Thank you Susan! I spent years sending tons of cards and stressing over gifts and now I have cut back so much and really don't mind. I enjoy the season so much more.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thank you for this wonderful post! We are often invited to many special events during the Christmas season, and then I fall into the cookie making craze sometimes. It's good to take a moment and pay attention to what really matters: Jesus birth and our salvation. All the other stuff is fluff.

Laurel Garver said...

Great post, Susan! How often do we pour energy and expectation into activities that can't fill us they way we hoped they would? They joy we were trying to create comes when we let the Lord near, and he brings it.

Susan said...

Thank you for the good reminder of the TRUE meaning of the season, Susan. I still love to decorate with abandon but I definitely don't bake like I used to. Don't want to eat all that sugar, either!

It's good to keep the focus of the season on the Little One. Always love to read your writing. Please come to visit any time. Sincerely, Susan

Diane said...

Sounds like a great idea to focus on what really matters and know what to let go. Wise as always Susan!!! :O)

Linda said...

Hi Susan,
I love your post and thank you for the reminder to keep our focus on what really matters. The real reason for the Season!!

quietspirit said...

Susan R. has made some good points. In years past, I would wear myself out doing ALL the stuff. And I'd be a basket case until spring or I'd get a roaring sinus infection and be 'down for the count'. I began the year 2000 with a horrible sinus infection that had me down until the first of February.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Susan & Commenters -

Susan - thank you for the opportunity to share on your blog. I always enjoy visiting Eternity Cafe.

Please forgive my late and combined response to your comments. My Mom's been in the hospital and came home today.

It's a good thing I opted for simplicity this Christmas season. :)



What a lovely post and a needed reminder of the importance of priorities and moderation during this sacred season. Thanks for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

1500 cookies? Wow! Lovely post from Susan. Rather than the gifts, it's our time spent together that spreads the spirit of Christmas.

Maria I. Morgan said...

Susan - Thanks for this illustration of what our days often look like prior to Christmas. Love your conclusion: Simplify Christmas...Celebrate Christ! Have a peaceful week! God bless!

Jill Kemerer said...

Susan, I've had years where I went nuts at Christmas too, and sometimes I really enjoyed it. But this year I'm sticking with a few basic cookie recipes and less decorations!

Saloma Furlong said...

Susan, thank you for reminding us that "tis a give to be simple."