There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays
Updated: Jan 2, 2019
Oh! There’s no place like home for the holidays,
‘Cause no matter how far away you roam,
When you pine for the sunshine of a friendly gaze,
For the holidays you can’t beat home sweet home!
Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays,
‘Cause no matter how far away you roam,
If you want to be happy in a million ways,
For the holidays you can’t beat home, sweet home.
(lyrics by Al Stillman / Robert Allen)
Is your home ready for the holidays? Today, I spent the afternoon shopping for some fresh new holiday decorations to change how I have been decorating my fireplace mantel for the past (I don’t know how many) years. I was so excited to come home and get started on my decorating; lanterns, candles, garland, berries, pinecones… Decorating the Christmas tree will have to wait until the weekend because I also ordered a few new ornaments that should arrive by then. I have been putting the tree up in the dining room where we have our big family dinner together. Since the children are now grown, we open gifts right after we enjoy our meal. We clear the table, and one by one we watch each other open the gifts. Last year, I bought the most beautiful Christmas dinnerware. The table setting was more beautiful than I ever remember it. And the ornaments that I just ordered coordinate wonderfully with the pattern on the dinnerware. Now to plan the meal!
When the children were still young, we had a few Christmas traditions that we established over the years. Like our parents did, we allowed our children to open just one small gift on Christmas Eve. Then I fixed hot cocoa garnished with whipped cream and a candy cane. We sat by the fireplace, drinking our cocoa while Gary read the Christmas story to us straight from the Bible. One year, I bought a bunch of Christmas candy and behold, my husband came home Christmas Eve with a box of goodies from his mother which included… more Christmas candy and I mean to tell you it was a ton! When the boys went to bed and we were sure they were finally asleep, Gary pulled all the gifts out from their hiding places and arranged them under the tree. Suddenly, I had this bright idea to create a candy “trail” on the floor with this super abundance of Christmas candy. Beginning at the side of each sleeping child’s bed, leading to the packages under the tree, I made a spectacular trail for each of them. What a trail it was, taking them on an early morning adventure through a large part of the entire house! They loved it so much that they held me to doing it again and again for years to come. Whew! “Mom, don’t forget to do the candy trail again this year.”
We have created some new traditions over the last couple years. After dinner and gifts, Gary and I lay hands on each of the boys along with our daughter-in-law, and impart a spoken blessing over them one by one, which we have both prepared beforehand. We then retire into the living room, eat lots of desserts and play a few games together. One year it was Heads Up Charades. Last year we took to the front yard for some archery.
Are these things of any real importance? To me they are in this way; the cozy atmosphere, the aroma of a great meal including Christmas baked goods, the heartwarming memories that we are making together as a family and the love that we feel for one another during these times together. These are the things that are most meaningful. These are the things that make a house a home. HOME for the holidays! What I am trying to say is that we, as women, know how to make a house a home. And we are very focused on that very thing during the holidays. We are all about creating special moments.
Today, I want to remind you that you are the builder of you home! According to Proverbs 14:1, a wise woman builds her house. She makes her house a sweet sanctuary. She sets the atmosphere, not just during the holidays but all year long. Should we put any less thought and focus upon the atmosphere of our homes the rest of the year?
We may have a bit of down time to invest in and enjoy our families this time of year, but for many of us it will be back to the rat race after the first of the year. The holiday will be over; no more vacation time for a while. Our focus will shift to many other pressing responsibilities and commitments. And while home is where the heart is, it will once again become a challenge to balance everything that we are doing inside and outside of our homes. It is truly a continual balancing act, isn’t it?
For now, I want to wish you the kind of Christmas that “makes you happy in a million ways.” Enjoy your time with your family. Shower them with the best of your love. No matter what is going on all around you at this present time, make your house a home. Let it be a Christ-filled atmosphere. One of peace and joy; the kind that cannot be disturbed or disrupted. Create a few family traditions and make memories that will last forever!
Next month, I want to share some thoughts with you about the importance of striking a healthy balance in all that we do. I will be sending out a questionnaire soon for each of us to share what might be one of our greatest struggles when it comes to balance. Perhaps we can all offer up some strategies and encouragement to those who feel completely overwhelmed. So, keep watch and stay tuned.
Until then, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May God richly bless you beyond measure!
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