Our daughter is absolutely obsessed with “THE BABY!!!” Seriously. Obsessed. Like she literally uses three, voice-exclamation points when she talks about “THE BABY!!!”
Since we first unpacked the Little People Nativity Set, she has been doting on “that baby” nestled in the manger of hay. Never mind the colorful robes of the Magi; forget the awesome-looking camel with a tasseled saddle; and don’t bother with the adorably-adorned, sweetly-pondering Mary.
Nope. Nada. No-go.
Not even the angel that sits atop the stable, playing music with a little light under her wings, can distract this little girl from the baby in the hay.
Our Evie-girl is ALL EYES for “THE BABY!!!”
And as I have watched our littlest hone in on this swaddled, plastic soul, I am reminded of all the many ways that (unlike my daughter), I, too, can get distracted from the STAR OF THE SHOW.
The presents need to be wrapped.
Wait, I don’t even have any Christmas paper.
The stocking stuffers haven’t been secured.
Mental note, stop and get Christmas stamps.
The New Year’s cards (because Mama doesn’t DO December mail) aren’t in the Shutterfly cart yet.
Does Caden even have anything to wear for Christmas?
What am I going to cook for Christmas day?
Oh shoot! I didn’t even think about cookies yet.
Should we do another “Happy Birthday Jesus” cake this year?
How easily-distracting the “trimmings and trappings” can become!
How consuming the “ribbons and wrappings” can be!
How ridiculously-overwhelming the “tags and the tinsel” can seem!
How absorbed we can get with all the “packages, boxes, and bags!”
How focused we can be on ALL THE THINGS that aren’t “THE BABY!!!”
And when we get hung up on all the details of celebration, sometimes we lose sight of what we’re actually celebrating.
Because of “THE BABY!!!” (the one who left His heavenly throne and made His place among the lowly and lost)…
I don’t have to be worried about creating perfect Christmas memories for my kids.
I don’t have to be consumed with organizing fun traditions for our family.
I don’t have to be overwhelmed with “celebrating-well.”
I don’t have to be focused on “doing it all.”
I don’t have to be preoccupied with the hustle and bustle, the sales and the stockings.
I don’t have to do ANY of it.
Because none of that really matters when you sit at the foot of the wooden manger that became a wooden cross for a broken and busted soul like mine…like yours.
So this Advent Season, as I marvel at the mystery of the manger and stand in awe of the beautiful-absurdity that took place in a barn, the one and only thing I actually need to do (for me, for my family, and for our children) is to draw our heart’s-eyes toward “THE BABY!!!”
Because let’s be honest, it’s “because the baby” we even have a reason to celebrate.