One Thousand Gifts: Ready

Are you ready for Christmas?

I hear this again and again. It seems to be the favorite question to ask this time of year. Perhaps it is simply a good question for small talk. I wouldn’t know since I am terrible at small talk. I’m usually too busy pondering the meaning of such questions to ask them. What exactly does someone mean when they ask, “Are you ready for Christmas?”

Is my home decorated? Have I finished shopping for gifts? Are they wrapped? Is the baking done?

If that is the question, then “no”, I am not ready. Mostly, but not completely. But that’s okay. I start early and work slow and steady, right up to Christmas Eve. All of the outward preparations for Christmas get done in time and I enjoy it, every step of the way.

Whenever Christmas begins to burden, it’s a sign that I’ve taken on something of the world and not of Christ. – Ann Voskamp

I’ve long lived these words of Ann Voskamp, being careful to fill the calendar with the best of Christmas and not what the world, family or church may expect or demand. Somehow, by God’s grace, Christmas does not stress me out. So, while I may not be ready for Christmas, I am savoring the moments of preparation.

Are you ready for Jesus?

Honestly, when I am asked, “Are you ready for Christmas?”, I hear, “Are you ready for Jesus?” I think this is why the question confuses me. Because I am not just preparing for a day of meaningless excess and gluttony. I am preparing for the celebration of my Savior’s birth. While we tend to look primarily to the outward preparation for the day, the most important preparation is taking place in my heart.

And “Yes!” I am ready for Jesus. Like the prophets foretold of the first advent of Christ, so they also foretold of the second advent. As we celebrate the remembrance of the first coming, the anticipation of His second coming is always at the forefront of my thoughts.

When I get discouraged with the sin and injustice of this world, I remember that Christ is coming to redeem all His creation. When I get discouraged with my own sin and the trouble I cause, I remember that Christ is coming to redeem me.

Preparing for Christmas each year infuses my faith with renewed strength, as it reminds me that just as Christ has come, He is coming again.

And the babe in the manger gave Himself on the cross. He made me ready for Christmas through the redemption of my sin. He prepared the way to the Father by clothing me with His righteousness. My preparations are worthless in comparison to the preparations of Christ.

What could I possibly offer as a Hallelujah to His gift, except to joyfully proclaim, “Yes! I am ready for Jesus! O come, O come Emmanuel!”

Joyously counting the gifts…

636. this special annual reminder to prepare for the coming of the Lord
637. Emmanuel, God with us

638. that my man enjoys the inward and outward preparations for Christmas as much as, if not more than, I do
639. him having the same thoughts about “Are you ready for Christmas?” as I have

640. Christmas music
641. Pandora
642. a fresh look at the Christmas story

643. family gathering for a visit with an aunt and uncle from Canada
644. really, really good brownies
645. a new generation of children running around, just as my cousins and I did

646. laughing with son over a too-small belt, that ended up getting covered by his official band vest
647. curling daughter’s hair
648. school Christmas concert
649. hearing and singing the praises of Jesus in a public school!

650. anticipating a fun-filled week

So, are you ready for Jesus?

In hope,

This post is linked with the Gratitude Community at Holy Experience as I share my list of One Thousand Gifts.

About Shelli Bourque

An ordinary girl living by the grace of life in Christ. Adoring wife and mom. Lover of quiet places and uncluttered spaces. Beauty seeker and image maker.