As we enter a time of family feasts and celebrations, lets keep our focus on the importance of gathering together!

Imagine hours of prepping and cleaning in order to create the perfect holiday celebration.

Then imagine an incredible spread of mouth-watering delicacies laid out on an opulently decorated table that would make even Martha Stewart envious.

And then imagine an insuring tension as family gathers and clashes during the celebration.

Does fancy still sound appealing to you?

The Bible says in Proverbs 17:1 “Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.”

After years of burdensome over-preparation resulting in exhaustion and friction, our family began to embrace this scripture for our holidays. Thus gatherings for our family don’t look like the “norm”.

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with a splashy set up and fancy culinary fare, the host needs to feel some sort of joy in the preparation and execution of the day; and, just as important, the participants need to extend grace and mercy to one another as well.

For us, the joy is in the relationships and how the day is spent with one another. Sharing memories and making new ones. So, at our house, the food and decoration are definitely secondary to the stories, activities, and connections.

We also find that, in keeping things simple, the pressure to hold a perfect feast is removed and peace rules the day Instead of being drained with preparations and “doing”, we come away refreshed and energized. In this way, we reconnect. Precious energies, instead of money, are spent on one another. Presents take back stage to the joy of the gift of strengthening these relationships.

This day of celebrating is simple, yet profoundly meaningful and rich. And ironically less TRULY becomes more!