Wednesday, December 4, 2013

this Christmas will be different

We slid right from Thanksgiving into Christmas this year. It must have been the late date, but it seems like there used to be a little in between room-just a few days of hazy turkey induced calm before we ramped up for Christmas. Or maybe that’s just me? 

I have been puttering around this week, checking my lists and feeling astonished that nearly all the Christmas shopping is done. This is new record for us at our house, one that I’m happy to say I want to repeat. It erases those crazy stress lines that seem to pop up on the corners of my eyes. Well, not really, but it must surely prevent more of them. 

I’ve been making myself comfortable in the midst of the tree and the lights and the plastic reindeer that seem to have overtaken my house. 

As I go about my week I keep finding that the nostalgia of Christmas is getting to me. Sometimes, just sometimes I find myself on a mission to reclaim all the shiny bright goodness of Christmas’s past. I want to bottle it and then throw it all around, a glitter filled cannon exploding through the house. I can blame it on hormones, and tell myself that thirty five is probably too young to wish for menopause, just so I can get things over with. But I really think it’s something we do every Christmas. We ball up all our hopes and memories of the glory filled Christmas’s that have gone by, and try like mad to create it all over again this Christmas. But this Christmas is not last Christmas and it certainly won’t be next Christmas, and why do we try so hard to make that so?

This year I want it to be this Christmas, the Christmas of 2013. It won’t be like last year because I’m not the same me as I was back then. The kids are another year older, even though I’m certain I am not. The house has new orange barrel chairs and the dog is afraid to go outside for walks (I cannot even begin to fathom why). The truth is that Christmas is a gift we get to unwrap every single year. And every year it looks a little different. 

I can mourn that fact. I can try in vain to recreate the magic of Christmas 2008, when my children really believed in Santa. I can exhaust myself trying to do everything the exact same as before, as if the ritual makes the magic real. The ritual doesn’t make the magic real. The thing that makes the magic real is the same as it is every year, it’s incarnation. It’s deity becoming man. 

This year Christmas looks like simplicity. It looks like a slower pace. It might be letting some traditions slide simply because we just don’t want to this year. It looks like Nutcracker performances and late nights watching movies. It looks like sticking to the budget, while operating like a ninja to squeeze the most celebration possible out of the least amount of dollars. This year Christmas looks like home, cozy and decked out-fancy but still comfortable. 

This year, this Christmas, I want it to look just like God intends for us. Even if it’s different from my original plans. And that will all be okay, because the best part of Christmas is unwrapping the best gift of all-God made flesh, putting up his tent here with us, Emmanuel. That is Christmas. It won’t be perfect, it won’t be like 2012, but it will be good. In fact, I think it’ll be the best yet-even when the cookies burn and money runs out, because the one thing that matters most during Christmas is the one thing that will never change. And that makes for a glorious hallelujah.


  1. You are so right! I have been stressing a bit about doing things like we always have for Christmas and instead of bringing peace, it tends to make me a scrooge. I am trying to do what I can this year but realize I don't have to do it all to make it a nice Christmas because as you said this Christmas is its own.

  2. "because the one thing that matters most during Christmas is the one thing that will never change. And that makes for a glorious hallelujah"..yes.


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