Christmas is the time of year when the pressure to be perfect intensifies. We imagine the perfect celebration and then put forth our best effort to make it actually happen. We shop for the perfect gifts. We plan the perfect Christmas Day meal. We try to choose the perfect greeting cards or write the perfect family letter. But our striving leads to discouragement and disappointment when our ability to imagine perfection exceeds our ability to implement it. The carefully chosen gift receives only a halfhearted thank you. Part of the meal is overcooked. We find a typo in our Christmas greeting after we have mailed the cards. Children fight over toys, Adults resurrect old arguments.

Instead of being discouraged, however, we can use our disappointment to remind ourselves of the reason Christmas is so important. We actually need Christmas because none of us is or can be all that we want to be, not for even a month, week, nor a day.

If for some reason your Christmas celebration this year is less than what you desire, relax and let it be a reminder that the only way to be "made perfect forever" is to live by faith in the righteousness of Christ.