7th Day of Christmas with Glynnis Whitwer

Welcome to our 5th annual 12 Days of Christmas giveaways!.

Each day I’ll feature one of my Proverbs 31 sisters offering a recipe, idea or memory and giving away a prize for the day!

Today’s guest?

The organization/time management chick and writing whiz:

Glynnis Whitwer


Am I a Christmas Failure?

A few years ago, December found me feeling rather un-Christmasy.  It had been a very hard year, filled with one challenge after another.  And when it came time to start the Christmas season, my reaction was anything but merry.

My emotional and physical tanks were completely drained, and creativity seemed a distant dream.

Boxes of Christmas decorations sat in a closet. Christmas cards (bought on sale the prior year) waited on the counter.  There were unmade cookies, unplanned parties, and unseen neighborhood light displays.

As I looked at my calendar and house, all I saw were things I hadn’t done.  I felt like a Christmas failure. After all, some women manage to get everything done, and look good doing it. Why couldn’t I?

The discouragement of my “failures” stole the joy of the Christmas season.

But then God reminded me of what I had done:

  • I had loved Jesus with all my heart.
  • I had served God faithfully in a ministry (Proverbs 31) that impacted millions of women for Christ.
  • I had cared for the needs of five children (two of whom needed hours of work each day in academics).
  • I had run a home-based business that cared for the needs of my family.
  • I had supported my husband so he could run his business.
  • I had attended every holiday concert and sports event that month that my kids were in (and wrestling meets last for hours).

No magazine took pictures of my house that year. Martha Stewart didn’t want to know my secret for amazing home-made gifts.

And my friends and family forgave me for not sending out Christmas cards for the second year in a row.

That Christmas God showed me all the exterior stuff is nice, but it doesn’t matter that much to Him.  What really matters is if my heart is fully submitted to His calling on my life.

His calling for me is to serve with a joyful heart.  And apparently it’s not to decorate or craft.

So, if your house is still decorated for Thanksgiving, and if your presents will be wrapped in Target bags, and if your neighbors get a warm greeting rather than an assortment of homemade cookies and candy, it’s ok.

You aren’t a Christmas failure.

Just keep focused on what’s really important – and that’s Jesus.  In a world filled with discouragement, He’s our only hope for peace and joy.  And as much as I like homemade cookies and presents wrapped in satin bows, those don’t satisfy like my Savior.


Glynnis Whitwer is on staff with Proverbs 31 Ministries and is one of the writers of Encouragement for Today. Her newest book, I Used to be So Organized, was released last fall.  Glynnis, her husband Tod, and their five children live in Glendale, Arizona.  Glynnis would love to invite you to visit her at  www.GlynnisWhitwer.com  where she blogs weekly and is in the midst of a series called “Sweet & Simple Christmas.”

Glynnis would love to give away two books.  The first is her book “I Used to Be So Organized” and the second is “Seek” by Donna Jones.

To be entered in Glynnis’ giveaway, tell us one area in which you have ever felt like a CHristmas failure. I’ll go first: wrapping! My sister-in-law’s packages are gorgeous and creative. Mine are more like “brown paper packages tied up with strings”

Remember, you have until Sunday night December 16th to comment on all the posts. One grand prize winner will be chosen from among the gals who post on all 12 days!

(Gonna wait til tomorrow when there is more traffic to announce the grand prize)


  1. Baking Christmas cookies. I always baked them as a kid with my Mom and Grandma but never have time now since having children of my own. i enjoyed it so much as a child and will make a point next year to set aside a weekend to focus on creating those same type of memories for my children.

  2. I never seem to have enough time to send a Christmas note to anyone. I love receiving cards but can’t seem to find the time to send my own.

  3. Thank you for the encouraging words….I want the joy of Christmas to be with my family and don’t want a “perfect” Christmas that steals the joy…I want the wonder of the baby Jesus to fill my children’s thoughts of Christmas…

  4. Christmas cookies! Every year I set out to make cookies with my children to take to the police station and fire department. This was one of my childhood traditions that I loved and wanted to share with my own family. The closest I’ve made it to actually giving the cookies to those selfless men and women was year before last when I put them in a Christmas-y box. Fail!

  5. The area where I have most often felt like a Christmas failure is in my lack of money to buy the presents that seem to be the expectation in our world. I know that this is not God’s expectation, but it sometimes hard to remember that.

  6. Decorating…inside and out. My style has turned in to a hodge podge of hand-me-downs and garage sale finds and nothing that defines me or my style! :-(

  7. I’ve always felt like a Christmas failure because we don’t buy Christmas presents for every extended relative :( Budgets are tight. And though my husband is generous in many ways, for him it’s out of sight out of mind and the extended family all lives very far away.

  8. Definitely Christmas cards….I’d love to send them but I just don’t have the time or the money. Homeschooling up until Christmas break keeps me so busy and the budget is so tight that cards just get pushed to the bottom of the list year after year.

  9. This year for Christmas I have felt like a Christmas failure. With decorating and with buying Christmas for kids. But in the end God will provide.

  10. I don’t buy the right gifts for my daughter, She is disappointed. This year she has sent me a suggestion list but it is out of my budget or I can not find the item, Only two weeks till Dec 25 and I have nothing yet,

  11. I feel like a failure this year because I do not have much Christmas spirit in me. I have not decorated the house and I have not sent out one Christmas card. I have let the kids decorate some but just not like the usual.

  12. My Christmas failure is that I always want to do so much and never seem to be able to do any of it. For example have a Christmas party for our friends and family. Never happens, our house is to small, they won’t visit us anyway(family), etc. I always make out cards and feel good about that but would like to do so much more. The one in line that pays for your cup of coffee or your gas. Donating to those in need, being able to adopt a family and make the focus be on them and not how I am going to do anything for our family. We have been blessed by others helping us give our 7 kids a great Christmas. I just want to do the same for others.

  13. My Christmas failure has to be the intentions that never come to be. I always plan these “great: persona gifts that never come together or are so last minute, they lose their luster. Aiming to simplify this year and keep the focus on Jesus and giving to those less fortunate. Thankful for God’s grace when I come unglued!

    thanks for the opportunity to share!

  14. Decorating! I feel soooooo overwhelmed and inadequate, especially when I see other people’s homes. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s not a competition but a celebration of the birth of a savior. So, I try and take a step back but it’s still difficult. :-)

  15. Not having enough time to sit back and enjoy the decorations, lights, time, etc with my children and family members! I always have great intentions and expectations of decorating and baking and never seem to get it done.

  16. I used to have it “all together,” but now I feel bogged down by the demands on the wife/mother. My house usually just gets a tree now-no fancy decorating all over, and we do not put up any outdoor decor or lights-just our tree in the center of out living room window. I guess I’ve felt a little bit like a failure when it comes to decorations.

  17. Oh, I like buying, but I don’t like wrapping. My mom put bows on everything to make them look better. Now, I use bags a great deal, except those from Santa.

  18. OK I have to agree with the wrapping, oh boy lol. I do the best I can, and it all seems to turn out OK, but I see my mother-n-laws wrapping and I don’t want to give her mine, and one thing, putting the tissue in the bags, my bags never look good lol. well guess everyone is just gonna rip them open, that’s the fun of it :)

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