Sunday night we had guests over for dinner and I didn’t clean my house!

It was an internal war inside – do I vacuum, dust and clean – or just let it go?

Would I rather continue on with what had already been a peaceful day – or kick it into high gear, running around crazily trying to make everything look “just right?” I won’t even mention what kind of mood that puts the whole family in. Did our guests even care? Or even notice?

To some people, this Christmas season brings stress, dread and worry. I think of Narnia without Aslan – “always winter but never Christmas.” We even lose our focus as life gets hurried and complicated. We dash around doing things that really don’t matter (like cleaning my house before the guests arrive!), and then our perspective shifts. We get so caught up in our present circumstances that we can’t see beyond our difficulties.

I had been focusing all day on “hope,” as I’ve been feeling hurts and pains that people around us have been experiencing this season. If we lose our hope – what else is there? Where do we turn?

Some call it optimism, but when I look deep into the Christ-child’s eyes, I call it hope. It is enough assurance for me that I can put the dreariness of Christmas aside: money, commercialism, and even too much tradition, or making sure my house looks perfect for all the “hub-bub” taking place.

We had such a great time with our guests. At one point I found myself looking down at the un-vacuumed carpet. For a split second I was embarrassed. Then I looked up into the faces of those around our table and my perspective shifted back into place.

It is through my faith – which is the basis for my hope – that my priorities are put into proper perspective. It’s not about the crumbs on the floor or the unorganized piles – it’s about the HOPE that resides in each one of us.

Yes, that’s enough for me!

(One reader commented that she is hosting guests several times this next week. She wrote, I’m going to throw all the Christmas paraphenalia in my bedroom, and put a sign on the door that says, “Santa’s Workshop. Keep Out!” Great idea!

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