A Life Stirred

The Secret of a Picture-Perfect December

on December 7, 2014

I’ve figured it out.  I know how to have a picture-perfect December.  And because I’m so very kind, I’m going to share my secret with you.

Are you ready?  You should probably find a pen and notebook…because you’re going to want to take notes.  I’ll wait.

Ok, so the secret to a picture-perfect December….take perfect pictures.  Or rather take pictures of those perfect moments and then promptly forget all the not-as-perfect moments.

I’m not going to lie.  Seven days into December, and I feel like I’m nailing this Advent thing.  (Yes, I know.  Pride is not an attractive Advent attitude.  I’m sorry.)

We are using the Jesus Storybook Bible, and we’re working our way from creation to Jesus’ birth this month.  Every night, the girls open a bag to find some sort of tactile object related to the evening’s story.  (I’m channeling my inner-teacher.)

Nightly Advent activity.

Our Advent bags.

Not pictured:  The sobbing that occurs when a certain toddler finds out it’s not her turn to open the bag.  Or the sobbing that occurs when another certain toddler finds out she has to actually touch the bag.  Drama both ways.

Anyway, this whole family Advent thing has been going really well.  Like better than I even dared to hope.  Basically, this is the first year where we have kids who are actually almost old enough to get some of the meaning of Christmas.  And I’m so excited to start teaching them about it!  There is a special joy that comes from teaching your children about the Lord and watching them actually grasp some of the concepts.

There is also a certain amount of joy found in moments like the one pictured below…

Advent perfection.  We are nailing it.

A perfect Advent moment.

Of course, as with any “perfect” picture, there is chaos happening outside the frame.  I promise.  This perfect moment was just that:  a moment.  And yet, it is surely a moment worth remembering.  It is worth finding joy in those moments that go exactly like you wanted them to.

But the hang-up for so many of us (myself most definitely included) is that we jump right to comparison.  We compare our less-than-perfect moments to someone else’s (perceived) perfect moment.  Or we compare how we are nailing it to how others are falling short.  Or we take Pinterest pictures or facebook pictures at face-value and forget that there is almost certainly chaos just outside of the frame.

And then we stress out.  December seems to be the most compare-y month of all.  I can feel the stress we moms put on ourselves (and dude, I’m not even a feeler!).  We want to do it all.  We want to do every single, festive Christmas activity, and we find ourselves weary.  Oh so weary.

Yet, the weary world rejoices.  There is a thrill of hope.  Hope.  Hope for the weary.


So, let’s enjoy this month.  Let’s allow the activities of December–the parties, the cookies, the decorations, the music–stir our affections for the Lord.  And let’s celebrate Him through it all.

And as those picture-perfect December moments start appearing everywhere we look (facebook, Instagram, blogs, Pinterest, and on and on), remember that a single picture is never the whole story.  Breathe.  And then go and capture your own “perfect” moments.

And post them on all the social media you can, and let the cycle continue.

And for a dose of real, here's Claire while we decorated the tree.  Not nailing it.

And for a dose of real, here’s Claire while we decorated the tree. Not nailing it.


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