Christmas Night

After Christmas The packages had all been opened. The Christmas dinner was history. Presents had been played with and put away. And one tired 10-year-old was headed to bed -- in tears.

As she laid her head on the pillow, I heard the words "Christmas is over. I don't want it to be over." At first, I thought she was sad because it's a whole year until she gets more presents, but, oh, how wrong I was.

"For just a day, everyone was so happy. We were all together. No one had anything to do. Tomorrow we go back to our too busy, crazy lives," she said through her tears.

I stopped. The small smile I had been wearing when I thought those tears were about presents slipped away. Because she was right. Christmas is one of the few days of the year when the world stops. It's a day where we take the time to enjoy the company of our families. It's a day when the focus moves from what we have to do next to simply enjoying what we have now.

It's a day for family -- with all its complications and flaws. It's a day for smiles and laughter. It's a day when the jokes in the new jokebook your kids got for Christmas are actually funny. It's a day when we gather with friends and family and we simply let that be the focus.

For us, today is filled with doctor's appointments and errands. Tomorrow we dive back into a hockey tournament. But Christmas day was a blessed moment of rest. A moment of peace. A moment of love.

The truth is that we can't recreate Christmas throughout the year. The rest of the world doesn't stop. But we can create moments with our families that give us those same moments of rest, peace and love. We can make time to play a game, bake cookies, go for a walk, or have our extended family over for dinner. We can choose to create Christmas-style moments throughout the year.

Because Jesus wasn't born in a stable all those years ago so we could run ourselves ragged and miss having a relationship with Him. Jesus didn't die on a cross and defeat death so we could become so focused on our own lives that we miss the opportunities to share His love with those around us.

As we head to the new year, take a moment to reflect on your Christmas moments. Think about how you can create those moments of love, rest and peace throughout the year. Then be intentional in making it happen.

Because those blessed moments of love, rest and peace don't have to be a once-a-year event.