To Myself This Christmas

I occasionally, err, obsessively watch Hallmark's Countdown to Christmas. Now, I know this is where some of you are groaning in disgust. Before you can protest, I KNOW, the movies are all similar and you know the ending .234 seconds into the movie, before the intro music has even concluded, but there is something about those sappy Christmas movies. They all wrap up like a perfectly adorned Christmas package. And I love me a happily ever after—especially at Christmas.

As I was cuddled up in my overstuffed chair, wrapped up in my favorite fuzzy blankie, sipping hot cocoa with marshmallows (more marshmallows than cocoa), watching another picturesque Hallmark Christmas movie, I realized how much I glorify the product over the process. I'm notorious for my lists, and Christmas only feeds the monster. Every year, I'm determined to have “the perfect Christmas." Of course, I would never say that out loud. But if my lists or plans get deterred, you better take cover. "You better not wreck my Christmas!” (Can you name that Christmas movie? No, it's not Hallmark.) I have a list for everything—fun family outings, baking, decorating, Christmas movies, gifts, parties, opportunities to serve, church events—the lists could seriously go on forever. All of the lists to attain a beautifully decorated tree complete with thousands of twinkling lights, enough Christmas cookies to deliver to our precious community, carefully thought out Christmas presents for our loved ones, magical family nights complete with kids in complete wonder, an Advent study that captures the attention of my little loves, and romantic evenings with my love watching our favorite holiday specials by a crackling fire.

But people, life happens.

And the reality is sometimes the Christmas tree is too tall for your ceiling, so you go Griswald, the cookies burn in the oven because you forgot about them due to your littles going cray at nap time, and you may even fall asleep on the floor wrapped up in blankets on your romantic date night in (hey, creating an ideal Christmas season is exhausting). In order to complete the “perfect Christmas”, the kids end up running around the room leaving you and your hubs reading the Advent study to yourself, and instead of kids in wide-eyed wonder, they are fussing and fighting. And because I'm so caught up in the product, I get frustrated, and instead of a Christmas Elf I turn into The Grinch!

BUT. NOT. THIS. YEAR.

I'm making room. I want to enjoy the process—relish in the memories made while decorating the Christmas tree (even if all the ornaments are shoved in one spot on the tree). I want to cherish the way my little loves’ eyes grow to the size of saucers when they see brightly colored twinkly lights or the sound of laughter as we bake Christmas cookies covering the kitchen in flour, sugar, and sprinkles. I've made less lists. I've put less on the calendar. I want to create space. More than anything, I want more time to savor, soak, and build anticipation for the celebration of our Savior. Because this Christmas, I want to embrace the process instead of glorifying the product.

This year, I'm going to leave the perfect Christmas to Hallmark 😉

Leave us a comment and let us know how YOU are embracing the process this Christmas and leaving the product to Hallmark!

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About the Author

Erika Opperman

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Erika loves Jesus. She is a dynamic speaker and empowering Bible teacher who is passionate about seeing women embrace, flourish, and rise up to live out the revelation of their value in Christ. Her hubs, of 10 years, is the BEST human she knows. She adores her {two} sons; Axel (4 yrs) + Max (16 months). Erika + “the hubs” (Brian) are raising their little loves just outside St. Louis. She has been known to laugh TOO loud, talk too much, and drink copious amounts of coffee. She has an affection for words. Erika lives life OUT LOUD. And the Opp’s absolutely LOVE serving in their local church where the hubs serves on staff as the Worship Pastor.

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