I can remember every detail of the first Christmas my husband and I spent together as a married couple. That Christmas felt so new and exciting. I remember wanting to create special traditions just for the two of us and to make a memorable Christmas environment in our new little apartment. Everything had to be perfect, because we would never get that Christmas back.

One of my favorite memories was picking out our first Christmas tree. My husband had never had a real tree before and I was determined to show him the beauty and value of having a fresh tree in our home. My excitement and passion helped me convince him that we should buy a 9 foot tree because of its fullness and grandeur, even though our apartment had an 8 foot ceiling. Needless to say, it took a maximum effort to get the tree into our home. Not to mention the fact that we had to cut off some of the tree’s top, and the branch still curved where it hit the ceiling.

That Christmas I also invited my family over for cookies and a movie. I thought it could be a new tradition we started in our apartment for my family. However, I’m definitely not the world’s best cook, I was still getting familiar with my new oven, and you guessed it, I burned the cookies. I was pretty disappointed because the tradition didn’t stick, and I still blame it on those burnt cookies even my brothers couldn’t eat.

My perfect first married Christmas wasn’t so perfect after all, despite my efforts. It was silly of me to think that I could make it just right when after all, the reason we celebrate Christmas is because we as imperfect sinners need a savior.

It’s so easy during the Christmas season to get caught up in trying so hard to make things perfect for our families. We plan out every detail of our Christmas gathering. We want every decoration in the precise place, we have to wear the perfect clothes, and we have to make sure the food and dessert is just right. If we aren’t careful we tirelessly push ourselves for perfection that we likely won’t find.

This Christmas, why not make the conscious effort to slow down and find rest in Jesus. The baby in the manger went to the cross to forgive our weaknesses and imperfections, inviting us to experience His peace. We can stop pushing for worldly perfection and choose to find rest in a perfect Savior.

Matthew 1:21, “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”