‘Tis the season…
The season of celebrations… of parties… of gathering with friends and family… of visiting relatives… of giving gifts and sharing time… of love and laughter and togetherness.
For our family, it has always been a season of busyness and excitement as we rush from event to event, filling every minute with activity, the calendar overflowing with bustle. There was baking and decorating and shopping and dressing up for this and that. Every weekend was booked and the days between, too.
But this season has been a season of different. We’re almost 2,500 miles from home, from family and friends, from comfort and traditions, from everything we’ve always known. We are homeschooling, so no class parties and school plays this year. Our church is small and new, so not the big fanfare we’ve been a part of in the past. We’re in a small, remote area, so most of the events and activities we’ve always done don’t quite work here. Even shopping for gifts has been hard and finding ingredients for favorite recipes is a challenge.
Honestly, it just hasn’t felt like Christmas.
I’m not going to lie- it has led to a lot of tears and heartache. I have felt a lot of big feelings and had some hard conversations with the Lord. (And let me tell you, I sure am thankful that He can make sense of my messy babbling and has the patience to handle my emotional baggage!). I’ve done very little decorating, very little gifting, subpar wrapping, and have not put much effort into making a “magical” Christmas around the house for the kids… all of which have compounded guilt on top of the hard feelings. It’s a vicious cycle!
But at the end of the day, past the hard feelings and emotions and crying and my own expectations of what I think the Christmas season is supposed to look like, there has been a lesson for me.
It is still Christmas.
In spite of my thoughts and feelings and lack of preparation, Christmas has come. Just as it did on that first Christmas night when so many were unprepared and unaccepting and just not ready.
Because Christmas isn’t about us. It isn’t about my comfort. It isn’t about my traditions and my desires. It isn’t about the events and activities and busyness. It isn’t about the performances and parties, the meals and desserts, the gifts and wrappings and bows.
Now, before I offend anyone, don’t misunderstand me- those things are great! Of course we can have all the fanfare and celebration- as long as we remember what the fanfare and celebration is for.
But the bottom line is that if we stripped all the shiny away, it would still be Christmas.
No, Christmas isn’t about us- it is for us. It is the coming of the Savior to a broken and tired world that needs Him so desperately.
And nothing can change that.
For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.-Isaiah 9:6