Sunlight poured through the wall of windows spilling a transparent glow into the living room.

I’d never have noticed it…that ethereal glow, if I hadn’t been taking pictures for this Christmas in the living room post. If I hadn’t been paying attention.

In all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I miss a lot…especially those things that matter most.

And this was early December.

Now, it’s Christmas week and the fun has reached a fever pitch. Days and nights on end full of family and old friends tend to take emotions on a roller coaster ride.

As I I told you…I miss a lot during the holiday season.

This morning I got up before 4am. Mike and I tend to do that in December, maybe it’s the excited child in us. Or maybe it’s the weary adult, waking burdened over this family member or that friend…

Christmas in the living room

We sit and do what we always do. Open the Bible and read, Mike on his iPad and me the old-school way. I find myself taking deep breaths and making an effort to slow my thoughts which are already coming at such a high rate of speed that I can’t keep up.

I must, I think, open my heart and make room for the Christ Child. Right here in the busiest week of the year, I absolutely have to focus on the miracle of miracles…God incarnate.Christmas in the living room

But my thoughts…my worries…my lists…. they stand guard over my mind like a grimacing nutcracker soldier, just daring me to ignore them.

Today, I give in instead of pressing in. Finishing quick, I jump up and leave Mike and the pups still snuggled in on the couch.

I start in the kitchen loading the dishwasher and packing up rummaged through gift bags from our big family party a couple of days before. The breakfast room table is still littered with crumbs and a flower centerpiece from the party. Giving the table a quick wipe-down, I grab the heavy dough bowl and switch out the centerpiece.

“You’re making me nervous” Mike said sighing.

Looking over at the sofa, he’s watching me, eyebrows raised, even the pups stare confused.

Christmas in the living room

It’s only 5 AM and all this running around is taking my mind off of the very thing that matters most…

Of all the weeks in Advent, this is the one that tops off anticipation…

…the week that very nearly sings with hope and beckons creation to follow the wild star to the manger…

But it’s also the week that the holiday volume reaches a deafening crescendo. All the merry making can quickly turn into a noisy distraction.

So…what can I do to keep from missing what matters most during these last days before Christmas?

For starters, I’ve let go of what’s left of my to-do list. Never, in all my holiday seasons, have I been able to accomplish everything I wanted to do. And that’s ok.

Next I’m changing my Christmas music playlist for the remainder of the holiday, from Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire-type songs to my favorite Christmas Hymns.

And lastly, I’m deliberately taking time during the day to pause for a minute and thank God for being born into a hurting world and to ask for His mercy on specific individuals that weigh heavy on my heart this holiday season.

As you can see, I’m preaching to myself here, but if you have the sam issue, how do you keep your focus fixed on what matters most to you during this week before Christmas?

Sending love my friends xo

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