This image popped up in my Facebook feed a few days ago.
This post may contain affiliate links, which support the technical costs of running this website. Thanks!
It was our last Christmas in our house, the house that my husband and I bought as newlyweds. We brought all of our babies home to that house. We sold it over a year ago and moved back home to Louisiana.
Now we’re living in a tiny house while we build our home. This tiny house is about half the size of our first house. We have no room here and we’re always having to bring piles to our storage unit, waiting for the day our home will be built. This tiny house is a wise financial decision for this season of life, but there’s little room for a family of five and all the clutter that homeschooling brings.
And so we’ve chosen to have a tiny tree for the tiny house.
The one that my 4 year old looked at and declared to be the most beautiful tree he had ever seen.
Notice how I didn’t clean up for you or stage anything for a blog-worthy photo. Let’s be real, k? You can admire my kids’ school work in the background.
We agreed not to get all of our ornaments out of storage. Last year, we put only our Truth in the Tinsel ornaments on the tree, and this year, we’ll put only the Jesse Tree ornaments, along with a few homemade things, like popcorn garland.
I would say that this tiny tree is a “hot mess,” but I’m not cool enough for that.
And anyway, it doesn’t matter what I think. My son thinks it’s the most beautiful tree he has ever seen.
See, the thing about kids and Christmas is that it’s just lovely. Everything about Christmas is lovely. The lights, the baking, the music, the togetherness, the traditions, and the celebration of the most wonderful event in the world, the birth of our Savior, are all lovely things and special things.
Kids love special. Just the very word gives them warm fuzzies.
Everything about Christmas is special.
It doesn’t matter if the house is cluttered and smaller than I’d like it to be. It doesn’t matter if your shopping budget is tiny. And it doesn’t matter if you bake cookies with them every day.
To the kids, if you bake cookies once during Christmas, it counts, and it’s special. Even if it’s just a box mix.
They’re not the ones on Pinterest, eyeing all the special things you could be doing if you were a super crafty mom. We may feel pressure to make everything bigger and better, but they probably don’t. We have to resist that pressure if we’re going to have Christ-exalting families.
Comparison is the thief of joy.
When I think about and plan my holiday season, I try to focus on a few special activities, one or two simple activities like driving around, looking at lights, and then I choose a Biblical focus or devotional for the season.
More and more, it has become important to me to build margin in our Christmas season.
I need room to breathe, space to make sure I don’t go batty, and time to focus on the more important things.
Not the crafts or the Pinterest-worthy desserts.
The reading of Luke. The Jesse Tree Bible reading. The family Advent devotional.
A rested mom. A joyful heart. A nourished soul.
By all means, do the crafts if that’s how you’re wired, but don’t get too frustrated if you can’t. Life is about seasons and I’ve learned that I have to roll with the season of life I’m in.
There have been some seasons where we could handle the flurry of activity. Some years, we could do lots of hands on crafts that were tangible ways to teach my children about the birth of Christ. I really recommend Truth in the Tinsel for this!
But there have also been seasons of morning sickness, nursing babies, and even seasons of grief at the holidays. These are all part of His plan for us right now. I’m learning contentment in the season He has me in, even if it’s not the way I’d like it to go.
Like that Christmas tree, my kids will still look at it and say it’s the best they’ve ever seen.
Because it’s ours.
Because it’s full of love.
Because it’s filled with Christ.