Love, Peace and Christ dominating this week

Coming out of Covid restrictions and lockdowns, has your enthusiasm for celebration or joining with family and friends been dampened?

Are you filled with peace at the thought of Christmas and carrying the Prince of Peace with you?

Are you overflowing with love and joy as you celebrate the birth of the creator of love and joy?

Does the reality measure up to the hopes and dreams or does the hectic pace of the season crowd out the special moments?

As we celebrate the birth of Christ this week, how are you currently feeling? What is dominating your thoughts? How are you really ‘travelling’?

Usually, in the lead up to Christmas, I blog on all things Christmas. Advent calendars, acts of kindness, keeping Christ central to Christmas, Christmas books and movies, surviving the season, helping children who can quickly become overwhelmed during the season, encouraging people prophetically, etc.

As I contemplate Christmas this year, the idyllic yet exciting and memorable Christmas I envisaged our family to experience every year is very different. It doesn’t look like Christmas this year. It hasn’t looked like Christmas for a few years. Growing up, we filled Christmas Day with cousins, family friends, food, games of cricket, and many memories. Christmas Day for us comprises some of those things, but it also carries an incompleteness. We have tried to fill it with things, people, and food, but it doesn’t equate. It is so easy to miss the real meaning.

Unmet expectations can set us up for big let downs. When the kids were younger, I learnt that what I thought were reasonable expectations meant that my expectations were frequently unmet. It was only when I learnt to release others from my expectations and modify my thoughts was I able to enjoy the present without feeling disappointed.

This year, Christmas is different for us yet again. Life has adjusted with older teenagers, covid, lockdown, segregation, and business stuff. Most Christmas activities and traditions for our family have been deleted. Peace has reigned. Evenings at home have majored. Enjoying the downtime with margin to reflect on Christ has become valuable.

With an 18-year-old whose friends are high on the priority list, blocking out camping trips and scheduling work around them means that Christmas Day will look different. Not bad. Just different. I am so looking forward to the special time we will celebrate all together Christmas morning before the work rush. Planning to keep it unique for the 16-year-old in the afternoon, plus celebrating a birthday two days before Christmas, has been challenging but fulfilling.

What unique challenges are you facing this year?

What are the essentials for you and your family?

Have you spent time as a family expressing your individual and family needs for this time?

How can you keep the main reason for the season as your priority and focus?

Perhaps celebrating Christmas well is creating a family culture that courageously celebrates and trusts God amid unmet expectations, despair, and disappointments. Imagine, for a moment, the feelings of Mary and Joseph. The most unusual pregnancy, the rumours and ridicule, feelings of being outcast, the ‘uncomfortable’ travelling while in the end stage of pregnancy, fleeing from a mass murderer and becoming a refugee in a foreign country. Who did Mary and Joseph turn to when life threw them a curveball? What do Mary and Joseph demonstrate to us about trusting God when His ways differ from ours? What do we learn about them, God, and ourselves in our current situation?


Who does God want to be for you and your family this Christmas?


This Christmas, may you know and feel the love that Father God, Holy Spirit and Jesus all have for you, and may you be a blessing to those you meet and spend time with.

Love Jane


And remember, love, kindness and patience look different for everyone. A young child can react utterly differently to what we expect. It’s helpful to see things from their perspective. Before disciplining, ask yourself:

  • When their behaviour is extreme, have they had high sugar intake?
  • When physically they respond differently to expectations, is there more noise, people, sensory input, traffic, late meals, no routine, less sleep because of evening activities, uncommunicated transitions, traffic jams?
  • Emotional responses when not getting their way when they haven’t been told no, limited finances, or dishonesty from their perspective? What has your behaviour and words communicated to them and heightened their anticipation about Christmas?
  • Are you settled and at peace, full of kindness and time to talk, play and hug or is their behaviour a reflection of yours in a childish expression?
  • Have they had enough ‘down time’ without extra stimulus?
  • Have they had time with you being attentive to them both physically and emotionally?