Christmas prep for an unhurried holiday looks a little different this year. As the sales come earlier and earlier, it seems like everyone has decorations up and ready before the second week of November. As I see instagram post after instagram post showing “What to buy”. Then, there are the reels saying “Hurry before this decoration is out of stock.” I start feeling my heart quicken, and with a “THUMP, THUMP, THUMP” sound coming from my heart, I’m feeling rushed and behind. Do you feel this way? Like you need to spend money you don’t have and fill your home with more. Like your already filled calendar cannot fit anything else? I start to feel unprepared and almost wish the season was already over. Its too much, its overwhelming and I wish I could make it stop. It shouldn’t be this way.
But then I sit at the feet of Jesus and I hear “pa rum pum pum pum”. It’s no longer the sound of my anxious heart. It’s a gentle reminder from the one who knows and loves me best.
The Drummer Boy
Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum
A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,
So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
When we come.
Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum
That’s fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,
Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,
On my drum?
Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,
Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum.
How beautiful those words are. Read them again and look at the highlighted words. I don’t think I’ve ever really paused to consider these words and the deep meaning behind them. The Little Drummer boy felt inadequate, like he had nothing special to bring to the King. He was told to bring the finest gift, but the little drummer boy was feeling like he didn’t measure up. He was poor and he felt like he didn’t have a gift good enough for a king.
In the second to last stanza, there is a change of events. The drummer boy asks Mary, “Should I play for you?” and so he played his drum and he played his best.
As the song ends, Jesus smiles at the little drummer boy and his drum.
Can you Relate?
The boy wants to bring his finest gifts to honor the King. Though he was tapping his drum, you can see through his words that the drummer boy instantly feels inadequate, maybe a little overwhelmed. Just like you and I feel when the world tells us to do more, buy more, rush, rush, rush. I think we sometimes come to Jesus and we say “I feel so much overwhelm, I can’t keep up. I want to give you my best but I’m drowning.”
Does Jesus actually ask for our Finest Gifts?
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
Oh, dear loved one, do you see it? God asks us to come to Him and all he requires of us is to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with Him.
The world shows us the complete opposite. It makes us believe our finest gifts is getting more, decorating early, spending money and hustling through the season. Our time becomes thinner and thinner as we fill it with parties, events, activities at home, pageants and sing alongs… the world demands more, more, MORE. And we feel such a heavy weight, we feel so much burden. We cry out “How can I possibly give anymore!?”.
Loved one, it doesn’t have to be this way. As we feel the pressure to overload our calendars we are actually crowding out the spiritual significance of the season.
Read that again.
As we fill our time without any margin, without any rest… we essentially are leaving out Christ. We are telling Him, “sorry but this party and sing along is more important than you”. And so He sits and waits until we realize what we have done. We have filled our days to the brim without even considering what this season means. And when we drop to our knees feeling the pressures of the world, He is there. He is gentle and kind. He says “Dear Child, I love you! Come to me and I will give you Rest. A rest that is eternal. A rest that you can experience when the world is trying to get more and more from you. Come to me, dear Child and rest your head”.
If living a hurried and busy life is something you would like to pull away from, I highly suggest these two books. One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. To Hell with the Hustle: Reclaiming Your Life In An Overworked, Overspent, And Overconnected World.
So, What is the Finest Gift we Bring?
I love this quote by author Ann Voskamp, because it gives us another perspective.
“We’re ready for Christmas, not when we have all the gifts, but when we are ready for Christ—when we’re ready to give all of ourselves to Christ.”
As the little drummer boys gives his best, he plays his drum for the christ child. It was all he had, but to God it was everything. How sweet the sound of that drum it must have been. But what you may have missed, is how humble that boy was before he began to play his drum. He said “I am poor and I have nothing”. We say the same thing when we come to Jesus. “I am nothing, I have nothing to give, why would you even want to care for me, Oh God?” And he quietly whispers, “Oh, no dear child, you are mine and you have been chosen. I have created you and it brings me great joy to comfort you and give you rest.”
How Do We Prep for an Unhurried Christmas this Holiday season?
God loves when we humbly come to him and ask for help. He loves to be our wonderful counselor and our amazing abba father.
So, to answer the question… our finest gifts is ourselves. We bring ourselves to him and devote time to be with Him and he brings refuge to our souls.
If you are always in a hurry you are not creating memories with your family. You are fooling yourself. No matter what the world may tell you, you are teaching your children to rush and fill their voids with wordly things. Filling your entire month of December with cookies to bake and crafts to make, movies to watch and events to attend is not the purpose of this season. We need to say “No” more than we say “Yes”. Heres the thing, the more things we say “Yes” to, alternatively the more we are saying “No” to Jesus. In the quote below, Voskamp explains it so well again.
An Unhurried Holiday Season and a Different View on Christmas Prep
Isn’t it interesting that the four weeks leading up to Christmas, the demand from the world is so loud but this time is also called Advent? Yup, it’s actually a time to prepare our hearts each day for Christmas, the birth of Christ.
In the midst of our holiday hustle and tasks, we could stop; leave our work. We could slow down long enough to hurry in another direction. We could put our activities on hold so we might quietly meet with our Lord. We could be settled and silent in the presence of Jesus.Christmas Devotional
Do you feel settled and silent in your hearts as you come to Jesus each day? Or do you feel like you are coming to him overwhelmed and with a rapidly, anxious beating heart?
We, as Christ followers must not let the busyness of the season overshadow a time designed to celebrate God’s love and sacrifice. If the gift we should be preparing is our heart’s response to the gift of Christ, what would that life look like? Assuming that we settle and silence our hearts and open up to receive the gifts he has for us this season, how would our daily life be different?
What about instead of the hustle to search for the perfect gift, to do more and be more… we just sit with our hands open, ready to receive with love and gratitude? Lastly, what if we stopped trying to do all the advent activities, devotional books, and cookie making memories with our family and instead showed them Jesus by the way we respond to this time of year? I challenge you to fill your calendar with more white space and I promise you will have the magical, white Christmas that you have always envisioned.
Slow down, dear child and experience the rest, love, mercy and grace that you can only find in Jesus!
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