Christmas time can be so many things. Sweet memories. Dreams. Excitement. Pain. Sorrow. Loneliness.
A longing for the real meaning. Reaching the image we create in our minds.
It was so different when my kids were little. Anticipation. Hectic schedules. I baked more. I decorated more. I read more Christmas stories. I watched more Christmas specials. I did more crafts. Their excitement spread over to me.
We came to a place where we started giving only 3 gifts. It just seemed fitting to give the same amount that Jesus received from the wise men. After all, the whole reason we have Christmas is to celebrate His birth. I wanted my kids to have that truth at the center of their Christmas.
The world paints a picture of Christmas from classic Christmas songs & movies. A roaring fire in a beautiful fireplace, sleigh rides, laughter, slowing down & enjoying each other. That image can leave us with a hole. Reality can be so very different.
I look back now & it saddens me how fast the time went. If I knew then what I know now, I would have slowed down, really have looked at my kids faces, had more talks, listened to them, played more & stored each moment away in my heart. I try & remember details but many of the years are blurs. Trying to be everywhere & please everyone is never what Christmas was meant to be.
Making one batch of cookies together…unrushed…now that’s a gift.
Time together is precious & short. It doesn’t last forever even if it feels like it will. There is an end to our earthly time. It’s a moment…a blink.
I miss looking out the window & seeing my children play in the snow. I miss wet mittens, snow pants, sleds & boots everywhere. I miss them needing me.
Christmas is harder now. It’s quieter. There are no little ones waking up early & rushing down the stairs. There are less stockings hung. Less gifts to buy. Less places to set at the table.
Christmas, for me, is also a reminder of my son. He’s no longer here. There will be no more earthly Christmas times with him. No sound of his voice. No truck pulling in the driveway. No gifts for him. The reminders are everywhere.
Yes, Jesus is still celebrated. Christmas is celebrated. It’s just different now.
Might I encourage you to extend more grace & understanding. Cherish your time together as a family.
Joy. In all things…joy. No matter what hurts you have or how hard Christmas can be, the Father is near. Jesus walks beside us & carries us when we can no longer take the steps ourselves. There may be no joy in our circumstances but there is joy in Him….an immeasurable joy in the Lord.
John 16, Romans 5, 2 Corinthians 6:10
Adore Him….Christ the Lord. Christ…my Lord.