One thing you won’t find me doing is comparing my Christmas to someone else’s. I can confidently say that to you. Thankfully, my traditions outweigh any time for that kind of nonsense and I want yours to do the same! Comparison is crippling and the thief of joy. Oh, friend, what a waste it is to compare your short tree to a sister’s tall one or your store bought stockings to her handmade ones. We don’t have time for that mess. We have tradition and love to share with our families this time of year!
I remember my childhood Christmas celebrations at home with my nuclear family, with extended family and close family friends. Each one of those homes created the Christmas’ my family celebrates today. My people loved Jesus well and celebrated with open doors. I was so fortunate to grow up in that environment and become like all those women who taught me to celebrate with heart.
Building on tradition that was rooted in faith has become the basis of my celebration. I have always paid attention to detail and the disposition of those around me. Looking back on my childhood, it amazes me what I have clear pictures of compared to those who share the same memories. I don’t remember the dishes, the size of the trees, the carpet being clean or not, or the size of the homes we celebrated in, I remember the tinsel, laughter and love all around me.
My sister always says it looks like Santa throws up in my house…it’s truly a lot of Christmas up in here and she loves every bit of it! I will say that people are hesitant to invite me into their homes at Christmas after they see mine. That has always bothered me because I don’t care what your home, tree or cookies look like! All I care about is your heart and the purpose you have in your celebration. If you heart is good, then your Charlie Brown Christmas tree is fine by me! Don’t judge a sister on how she celebrates, ever. Her traditions are rooted in a different way than yours are, yet they still mean the same to her as yours do to you. We are all unique even in how we celebrate the one who came down for us at Christmastime.
I am going to admit that I cannot make cut out sugar cookies worth a hoot and I have never made a gingerbread house worth looking at. I want to be a rockstar at both but I am becoming comfortable in my inability to conquer those sugary tasks. I can now scroll through Pinterest and Facebook without envy of you sugary talented sisters and it makes me feel free.
My best friend grew up in a gorgeous home and a florist decorated her house for Christmas. We bought our tree at Harps and strapped it to the top of my mama’s car and went home to our ranch style house and decorated it up big. I never once thought we were less and she never once thought we were less. Our front door swung wide for her and hers swung wide for me. We were bonded in Christ and laughter. I say this to get my point across..there is nothing more painful to me than seeing a Christian sister living a life of comparison. It’s an evil trap you must escape.
This is a season for you to celebrate Jesus the best way you know how…how you were taught as a child, traditions that run deep, and with memories no one can share but you and yours. Don’t miss Christmas because of comparison.
If that means getting off social media, then do it. If that means not going into Hobby Lobby until January, then do it. Take action and guard your heart from the thief of comparison. I promise you that Mary and Elizabeth compared pregnancies but nothing else…they were cheerleaders for each other.
In the coming days I will share the ways tradition has defined my celebration and how tradition is actually biblical. We don’t have to create a spectacle at Christmas or stress ourselves so much we miss the meaning in it all. I mean after all, the reason we celebrate was born in the most ordinary way possible. I think we can all breathe in a little reminder of that as we embark on another Christmas.