I feel like I say this all the time, but I seriously love Christmas. Last night I went and stood in front of my house and breathed in the cold air. With the temperature being so low, it really FELT like Christmas (which can be a challenge in Texas). I love that feeling, the anticipation of it all. The gifts, the parties, the food, the craziness.
Yes, I love the craziness because my family is crazy. There are 18 of us that get together every year on the 23rd. We play, we decorate cookies, we get loud and we love each other. One of my favorite memories from the “Patton Family Christmas” is making peanut brittle. My dad doesn’t cook a lot, but peanut brittle is his specialty. The key to this recipe is being as loud as possible while you make it. Part of the process is slamming cookie sheets after you pour the hot brittle to get it as thin as possible. My siblings and I would slam the pans as loud as we could and yell through the whole thing. This usually results in pure craziness and minor burns…which is the reason it’s been banned for the past several years (plus all the small children we have running around). There is a rumor it might be making its triumphant return this year, but I cannot confirm nor deny this.
I think I love Christmas so much for memories like these. Craziness, laughter, and child-like fun. We all get a little younger at Christmas, which is what makes it so magical. I wish we had that childlike mindset all the time. I think God wants us to have that too. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 18,
“At that time the followers came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2 Jesus called a little child to him. He stood the child before the followers. 3 Then he said, “I tell you the truth. You must change and become like little children. If you don’t do this, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 The greatest person in the kingdom of heaven is the one who makes himself humble like this child.”
You know Jesus’ followers were expecting some fancy answer from Jesus on whom the greatest in the kingdom of heaven was (they were all secretly hoping it was them, I’m sure). But in true Jesus form, He surprised them and pulled up a child. A child, of all people, has the right idea. The beauty of these verses is remembering Christ’s humble birth, coming to the world as a small baby. Unexpected, surprising and humbling. Royalty was born in a stable and children hold the keys of faith.
Our God is the God of the unexpected and I love that. Too often we think we have God all figured out. We wrap Him up in a box with a bow and call it a day. But we don’t have Him figured out, not at all. We never know what He’s going to call us to do or where He’ll lead us next. That makes us a nervous, but not having it all figured out is a good thing. We need more unexpected in our life. So I hope this Christmas for you is unexpected. That it’s magical, surprising and child-like…and maybe even a little bit crazy.
Thanks for letting me share,