The words "do not fear" are put together in the Bible in a way that reminds us that there are times in life that make us just stop in awe. We may be overwhelmed...and we just stand in one place wondering how we will pull it all together. Or we may be amazed...and we are glued in place just trying to take it all in. Then again, we may sometimes feel that we are in the epicenter of something going either horribly awry or magnificently right...and we lack the discernment to know which it is.
The holidays are like that, aren't they? We love the food and festivities...but we worry about our waistlines. We want to embrace the spirit of the holidays...but we wonder how we can possibly make anyone...much less everyone's wishes come true. We know that simplification is the way to go, but we cannot figure out how to stop doing so much because tradition is involved in our idea of the "perfect holiday."
When the angels showed up to the shepherds in the field after the birth of Jesus, they had one of those fear filled moments that prompted the "do not be afraid" commands. And even today...that command is still excellent advice in dealing with the holidays as we know them. Quit worrying about the process...and keep your eyes on the glory of the birth.
I think that Christmas is a magical season that allows us to complete a year remembering people that we love and to share the spirit of the gift we were given by sharing gifts with others. But once we reach a certain age...the gifts are not nearly as important. It is nice to receive gift cards or something extravagant that we would deny ourselves...but the truth is...most of us have so much that receiving is not nearly as much fun for us as giving.
So...do not be afraid this season. Give of yourself...but also give yourself a break. If you do...you'll experience the awe of the real reason for the season. Let's not miss it in worrying about perfection, being tired, or even worrying about being sick. Let's take it as it comes!