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Your Best Christmas Gift Ever

How to get through the stress of Christmas.

Remember the gift of love at the first Christmas.
Credit: Getty Images

Do you ever find yourself thinking at Christmastime, “It’s just TOO much! I can’t do it all?” The lists pile up and then you add to them, crossing things off as you get to them, but only adding more.

For me, it’s that yellow Post It note on the desk that has the names of people I need to buy presents for with possible ideas…and then more possible ideas…and then sometimes no possibilities whatsoever. Ugh. What am I going to do?

Then there’s the stuff on Google calendar. I don’t even want to look at it but it’s there. The Christmas concert I need to rehearse for, the pageant at church (and when am I supposed to coach the Sunday schoolers through “Angels We Have Heard on High?”), friends’ tree-trimming party, the performance of The Nutcracker that seemed a good idea when we bought the tickets…

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Nothing there about the notes I want to send to people who sent us Christmas cards, even though we haven’t sent them cards for years, but I want them to know I’m grateful.

Meanwhile people keep emailing about wanting to get together for a special Christmas lunch or Christmas tea…so when are we going to do that? And oh my gosh, I forget to put down the office Christmas party on the calendar. How could I forget a thing like that?

I need to buy a gift for Toys for Tots. For some kid who doesn’t have anything. That’s essential.

But in the back of my head, as I say, a voice sings a refrain like the angels sang to the shepherds but this isn’t full of glorias; it simply says “It’s TOO much. I can’t do it all.”

That’s when it occurred to me that in all of this insane holiday busyness there is perhaps a message God is sending me. He is saying, “Yes, Rick, you can’t do it all on your own. You’re going to need help. My help. After all, this Christmas season all started with Me and My Son.”

That’s God’s Christmas present to us: the love that came down at Christmas to give us the love we need to get through this Christmas. We’re so busy–so stressed–that we can’t get it all done without turning to the One who said, “Who among you by worrying can add a single moment to your life?” (Luke 12:25)

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Perhaps that’s the best Christmas present of all: the realization that we need God’s help. And when we allow ourselves to trust and relax into that knowledge, everything else will fall into place.

It all gets done. Or doesn’t get done. Still, that baby will be born on December 25 without my making it happen. God’s gift to me, to us, not of our doing, meant for our receiving. I’m taking it in.

And logging on to one more site to find that present that just might be right…

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