Photo by Sunny Studio

What does Christmas look like in your blended family home? Do you find yourself trying to set an atmosphere of love and peace in the midst of chaos and confusion? If so, let’s talk about how you can Set your Christmas Thermostat to Reflect Christ this year.

Have you ever stopped to consider how hectic the first Christmas must have been?

Let’s just think about this, based on the accounts and details of the story in the bible, it doesn’t seem like it was a very calm day at all. If we think back to the story of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in Luke 2:1-7. The Bible tells us that Mary and Joseph had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem because of a census, on a donkey, WHILE Mary was pregnant. Now some of us have traveled while pregnant, but this trip was about 90 miles, took around 4-7 days and done on a donkey. I’m not sure if you have ever experienced being pregnant and riding on a donkey, but I would think the ride would feel similar to being pregnant and taking a ride on a school bus, if the donkey is moving fast, or it may feel like a long slow walk if the donkey is moving at normal speed. In either case, no fun!

Once they finally made it to Nazareth,  tired and worn, they weren’t greeted by amazing hospitality and a beautiful night stay in a luxurious hotel. Oh contraire; instead, they were told that there was no place for them to lay down comfortably and rest. Yet, that didn’t stop the pull of gravity on Mary’s body as she began to go into labor.

They eventually found accommodations but the only place in the entire city that was available to them was far from a fantastic laboring center with kind, calm, and caring nurses.

Let me stop and say that I am convinced that since they knew she was carrying the savior of the world, they certainly had an idea of him being born someplace fabulous. They had to have some expectation of how they would deliver the Savior of the world to the world. I am almost sure; they had to feel some sense of frantic, anxiety, frustration and disappointment, much like many of us experience when things seem like they aren’t going the way we planned for the holidays.

Nevertheless, the Savior was on his way.

So where did they find a place to rest, give birth and calm their newborn baby? A stable, better known as a barn.

Not quite your dream labor and delivery room.  

Jesus was born in a barn full of animals, animal food and animal waste. Jesus made his entrance into the world in a stable. They laid Him in a manger (a box where horse and cattle eat from) instead of a bassinet and waited for the census to be over, however long that took.

Doesn’t sound like a perfect Christmas day to me!

In spite of the circumstances Mary and Joseph found themselves in and the reality that everything was not working out EXACTLY as they probably anticipated, Jesus was still born to his virgin mother Mary and Step father Joseph as promised.

Mary and Joseph teach us a valuable lesson as they prepare for the arrival of Jesus. They teach us that there are things you CAN control and there are things you CAN NOT. Having peace is something you can!

I love how my friend Tesha Fritzgerald of put it when she said, “We have a choice, will we fill our hearts with treasure or with trash.”

Photo by Yuganov Konstantin

Mary and Joseph chose to focus on the treasures of the moment. They knew that they couldn’t control the government’s decision to do a census in Joseph’s town while Mary was pregnant, but they could control setting an atmosphere of Love when Jesus was being born.

They couldn’t control the smell of the stable or the noise from the animals as they found rest in a barn, but they could control the Joy they had because of the birth of Jesus.

They knew they couldn’t control the imperfect and nontraditional childbearing circumstances they happen to be in, but they could have Peace in the midst of it.

If we look closely, we may find our Christmas story to be much like that of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. There are so many elements that go into celebrating Christmas for blended families. Some years the children may be away, so we have to prepare our hearts for a Christmas without our kids. Other times the holiday is split between both parents, with the children traveling from one place to another. So we have to prepare for a busy Christmas rather than a calm day at home. Some families don’t have the challenge of the other parent being active during the year or the holidays, so we have to walk with our child through the feelings of sadness and rejection they are experiencing rather than Joy.

Despite all of this, we can still find a way to experience Love, Joy, and Peace like Mary, Joseph and Jesus did. These feelings can be the climate of our Christmas if we choose for them to be. Setting your Christmas thermostat to peace simply means to choose peace over frustration and anxiety. It means we have the ability to control not the circumstance but how we feel in the circumstance. It means that we can set our Christmas thermostat to reflect Christ so that we can experience Love, Joy, and Peace on Christmas just as He did.

Watch the story of the birth of Christ here

Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas

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