Real Life Mama: Jesus — the reason for every season

Happy Birthday, Jesus. That’s what the sign on my door reads. The sign that I walk past every single day during the Christmas season. Jesus. The reason for the season. No, the reason for every season — for everything.

We read about Him every day in our advent calendar countdown. We have told the story over and over in Christmas programs and choir concerts at church. Heck, even our elf spends a night every year bowing down with the shepherds and kings in our nativity scene to remind us of what Christmas is all about.


And yet, no matter how hard I try to make the entire season about Him, I fall into the last couple of days before Christmas overwhelmed at all I have to get done to make sure that Christmas is ready for everyone.

Did I get enough gifts? Did I get too many? Did I spend too much? Are there even amounts – or at least did I spend evenly. Will she be upset I didn’t get this? Will he wish I would have gotten that?

When will I wrap? I am never going to get all of this wrapped! Why didn’t I start wrapping earlier? Oh yeah, because I wanted to make sure that I knew all that I had so that I could make sure that I bought enough or accounted for everything or that everything was fair.

My house cannot be a mess for Christmas. Santa is not coming if it looks like this! And we have to clean out all the old things – where will we put new things? How do you guys even use this bathroom like this? You need no more clothes – you cannot even keep track of the clothes you have!

Does everyone have an outfit for church? Wait, does that still fit you? Do I need to pick out something new? Do we match? We need a Christmas picture — it’s like a necessity. Everyone posts Christmas pics of smiles and fun – ours cannot be any different!

Do we have candy to set out? And cookies for Santa. And cinnamon rolls for breakfast. And what will the Elf do on the last night – how will she say goodbye? When does she go back again?

Stop fighting! I’m sorry I yelled. Coffee. Yes, and creamer – because it’s Christmas and I need something fun. More coffee. It’s going to be an all nighter. I mean, how else am I going to get all of these presents wrapped? And this house cleaned?


Chill out, Martha. Yep, that’s what came to mind as I was freaking out about all of the things I needed to get done for Christmas. You know, the story of Martha and Mary? I’m going to paraphrase in my own words, but you can find it in Luke 10: 38-42.

Basically, Martha invited Jesus to her house and her sister Mary (not to be confused with Mary the mother of Jesus) just sat there at Jesus’ feet and listened to Him while Martha ran around like a crazy woman preparing everything. Annoyed at all she had to do, and that Mary wasn’t helping, Martha asked Jesus if he even cared that Mary wasn’t helping and she had to do it all.

Ah, but Jesus. He was like Martha, chill out. You are worried about all the wrong things! There is only one thing that matters, and Mary has it all figured out.

Spoiler alert – it’s Jesus. That’s the one thing that matters.

Whew. Can I be Martha sometimes — especially at Christmastime. But Jesus, He doesn’t care if my floors are mopped, and my toilets are clean. He isn’t counting gifts or dollars or fairness. It doesn’t matter how much or how little is under the tree or what we eat for breakfast that day or if we match for a family picture.

But there is so much to do!

But, Jesus.

I needed this story – this reminder. I needed to remember that, even though I have it hanging on a sign that I see every day, and even though I remind my kids about the real reason we celebrate, and even though I am trying to do all the things right, I still come up short sometimes. I still fall into Martha status.

And so I pray, in this final stretch of getting everything ready for celebrating the birth of Jesus, that I can be more like Mary. That I can remember while preparing for Jesus – doing all the things I think need to be completed exactly right for the big day – that they don’t need to be perfect. Because the one we are preparing for and celebrating, already is.

I just need to keep first the reason for the season – for everything — and sit as His feet and listen.

Happy Birthday, Jesus.

Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her daughters and writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.