I know many Domestic Warriors are today frantically preparing for tomorrow's festivities. We want everything to be perfect. I have a June Cleaver holiday dream. In my imagination I want to be floating around the house in my frilly white apron, freshly pressed. My pearl necklace is delicately hanging around my neck. My legs look fantastic in my high heals even though my feet are killing me. The kids are clean and well behaved. I managed to pick the perfect gifts. They are exactly what they wanted! They were so very excited and grateful when they opened them. Husband is sipping coffee and winking at me as I busily and joyfully prepare the most amazing Christmas dinner. Everything is perfect. All our guests are very impressed with how magically everything is prepared. Then the alarm sounds on the clock radio. It is playing techno-Christmas carols and I am slammed back into my own reality.
In my reality I try very, very hard to make Christmas perfect. I stress about making my kids happy Christmas morning. I don't want them to be disappointed, so I give my credit card a work out. Their reaction isn't as gracious as I would have expected, so I wonder why spent the money anyway. Once the gifts are opened I go into "mission mode." I begin scrambling around the house cooking and cleaning, hoping to give the illusion of perfection. I am stressing about the house getting cleaned. I want it to look like a model home.The kids must achieve high standards of cleanliness in their bedrooms. Shreaking erupts from my mouth when I see my husband trying to help a child with a new toy. "Why aren't you helping me!" I exclaim. The family is now struggling to meet my approval. The kids are cranky from my constant critisism. My husband's normally cheerful demenor is now stressed. When the guest arrive they sence the tension in the air. We spend a very uncomfortable evening together.They leave thinking I am very controling. They wonder to one another in the car on the way home what it must be like to live with me day after day. I don't know about you, but this is not the holiday I want to have tomorrow. I want my guest to leave with "tidings of comfort and joy." I want husband and kids to have a holiday of "heavenly peace." Most importantly, I want to celebrate the birth of our Savior and give "glory to God in the highest."
Sure I want to impress my guests, but the person who has the highest expectations of what Christmas should be like is me. I am the only one who wants perfection. I set unrealistic expectations for myself. I can never meet them. I am always disappointed. Colossians 3:23-24 says, "Whatever you do, work at it with all you heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will recieve an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." I want to remember that in all my efforts, I am working to please the Lord, not myself. He knows that I am a faulted human being. He sees me as perfect through Himself, just as I am. I want to celebrate His birth keeping in mind the awesome gift of love he gave us. Tomorrow I want to make Him happy above all others, even myself.