I squinted at the photo online and then glared at the two stuffed animals I’d just finished.  Mine looked lumpy.  The ones online?  Pure perfection.

“I think we’re going to have to go shopping.” I said.

My husband shook his head.  “Quit being so hard on yourself.”

“But these aren’t good enough.”

Again, he shook his head and assured me that I was striving after perfection yet again.

How often do we do this at Christmas time?  We can’t send out Christmas cards without a family letter, Christmas stamps and a red gel pen to sign our names . . . . in calligraphy.  It isn’t enough to put up a tree, lay out the manger and hang our stockings.  The tree has to have a color coordinated designer theme.  And we have to decorate the mantel, wind garland and lights up the stair rail and decorate the front porch.

Sweet friends, Christmas was never meant to be perfect here on Earth. Mary gave birth in a stable. Look at a stable floor some time. Now think about what this floor would have looked like when Bethlehem was full of travelers.  If there was no room at the inn, the stable was likely pretty full too. This was not the perfect place to give birth, but even this first Christmas wasn’t about Earthly perfection.

That first Christmas, and each one after it, was meant to pull our gazes upward.  Don’t stare at the imperfection around you, gaze instead up at Him.  His is the vastness of a star filled sky at night combined with the warmth of a stable and a tiny baby.  It is about hearing His song and seeing Him among the imperfection of our lives.

Now, if you’ll excuse me.  I have to sew button eyes on two stuffed animals.  They may not be perfect, but nothing here on Earth is.  But that’s okay. Christmas isn’t about Earthly perfection. It’s about caring and sharing and Him.