Warning: If you read this devotional with your kids, be warned that this one will spoil the Santa secret.
This is the first year no one in our house believes in Santa. One night at dinner during the summer our youngest daughter announced that everyone knows Santa isn't real. When we asked what gave it away, she looked at us, raised her eyebrows, waved her fork and said, "Flying reindeer, really?"
I have to tell you it's a bittersweet moment. I'm proud of my girls as they grow up into lovely young women. Part of growing up is letting go of some of your childhood fantasies, but as we approach Christmas this year, I'm a bit sad, too. Some of the wonder and excitement of childhood has disappeared.
I heard the song "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" on the radio as I was baking cookies the other day. I had to smile as I remembered how indignant my grandmother would get when my brother would play that song and announce that it was his favorite. My grandmother would put on this big show about how awful that song was, then she and my brother would laugh about it.
I miss those moments. My grandmother is now in a nursing home with very little awareness of what is going on around her. We didn't know several years ago when we celebrated Christmas together, it would be the last time she and my brother would have the "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" conversation.
As we start this last week before Christmas, I want to encourage you to stop and focus on the moment. I know there is baking to be done, there are gifts to be wrapped and parties to attend. But you never know which moments won't come again. If we miss them this year, we may never get to experience them again.
I know that this year, I don't want to miss any of those moments. I don't want to miss a minute of the shared laughter with my kids. I don't want to miss the love from my family. I don't want to miss the wonder in the eyes of my kids. And I don't want to miss the baby that came on a "silent night" nearly 2,000 years ago.
Psalm 46:10 says "Cease striving and know that I am God" (NASB). If we get so caught up in the to-do lists of the week before Christmas, we will miss the important moments in these special days. Cease striving for the perfect Christmas and focus on the fleeting moments because your kids will grow up, your family will change, and you'll never be able to capture this moment again.
God will give you plenty of moments this week to enjoy the celebration of His Son's birth. He will offer up teachable moments for your kids by the dozens. The question is, will you be too busy to notice them or will you "cease striving" and treasure the moment?
There's still time to create special moments with your kids this Christmas, check out Lori's new e-book Everyday Christmas. It's available for Kindle, Nook and as a PDF file.