I've just written my to-do list. It's festive. But it's long. And, if I'm honest, I'm not quite sure how I'm going to manage to deliver all the cards and presents at the same time as taking part in various services, cooking large quantities of food, holding down my job, going to parties and maintaining some kind of residual sanity. Far from reflecting on a "silent night", I feel more as if I'm living in a whirlwind of activity which threatens to suck me into oblivion.
Which is why I'm very grateful to have stumbled across the post-it note I wrote for myself last Christmas (sandwiched in the middle of the amorphous mass of tinsel that lurks in the decorations box). There's only one word on it. And that word is this:
Of course, it would be lovely to achieve everything but what is most important? Does it really matter if the sprouts are frozen rather than fresh? Would anything bad happen if your close friend who loves you dearly doesn't get a Christmas card in which you've simply signed your name? Probably not. And no-one will notice if the tree only has a 100 baubles rather than 150. But other things are rather more important. To squeeze out prayer for the Christmas services or to not get round to inviting that non-Christian friend to the crib service, even though they've expressed an interest. To miss out visiting the housebound lady down the road who will be spending most of Christmas alone. Or to spend so long shopping for small gifts that you miss out on thanking God for the awesome gift of his Son. Those things matter far more.
So why not take a moment? Take a breath. And prioritise what's really important this week.