There is no time of year that is as magical as Christmas. At least that used to be true for me but this year I’m having a hard time feeling it. Maybe it’s the fact that there’s no snow on the ground or that we don’t have our tree up yet. It’s hard to say why but Christmas feels really far away, both physically (though I know it’s not) and spiritually. It’s frustrating, like trying to make yourself fall asleep; I love Christmas, I love cozy evenings and warm coffee, this should be my most magical time? Unfortunately, You can’t force yourself to feel magical and joyful, instead I find myself feeling nervous, stressed and harried.
I know we have a tendency to overdo it this time of year, but I really think I haven’t. I’ve made a big effort to keep things simple. So what is it? Your about to step inside my crazy brain (and I apologize in advance). The reason I’m struggling is because of all the other years where I didn’t take it slow, where I overdid it like crazy and unknowingly made Christmas into a big production. I’ve wired my brain to expect too much, my body to do to much and my heart to end up disappointed. I’m suffering from Christmases past! Christmases not entirely spent in the presence of our manger king.
I’m not 100% sure how to remedy the situation but this is what I do know. The presence of God is found in the little places of our lives. It’s found in the child’s smile, and the burned cookies, and the color of the world when it’s dressed all in white. I also know that the meaning of the word “Advent” is “coming”. This is a season of anticipating the arrival of Jesus, the remembering that He came as a baby to a small corner of the world with no fanfare, because God adores us. I should be able to put those two things together; The going back to finding God in all the small places of my life and the looking for the meaning of a savior come as a baby. If I can do that, if you can do that, then the Christmas season becomes small moments strung together with meaning and love and wonder. Those strings of moments become the magic and joy of the Christmas season.
I’ve got to find my gratitude journal. It’s buried under a mound of fabric scraps and paper and projects half finished. I have to go back to Bethlehem and look and see a mother and father holding their baby in a barn. It’s time for me to take the wonderful, little moments of my life and string them together with the love of a savior and use that to decorate the corners of my heart.
Merry Christmas friends.