Its 11:00 on Christmas night. All the holiday meals have been eaten and cleaned up from, the gifts have been opened, played with, examined, and appreciated, and now everyone is sleeping soundly. All in all I have to say it’s been a great day. There were no bad attitudes, no melt downs, and no fights by anyone.
And still, for whatever reason, the whole day just didnt feel very ” Christmassy” to me. Maybe it’s because we live in Texas where the closest thing we get to winter is a random cold snap here and there. Or maybe because I’m a grown-up now and some of the magic has worn itself away. Or maybe its because 2018 has just really really been an hard year.
You see, the year started itself off on a rough foot when just shy of 1 month in the woman who seemed to be the glue that was holding us all together made her way into the arms of Jesus. It was that moment I realized that absolutely nothing would ever be the same again. Sure we had all had our traditions change gradually over the course of the past several years but even when we couldn’t be there in person for a given holiday I always knew the traditions were continuing on. The same meal cooked in the same kitchen eaten at the same table. Maybe there were more people than usual maybe less but it was always happening.
From there it was all just seemingly down hill. Loss after loss piled up and one stressful situation presented itself after another. All the while causing me to feel less and less balanced. At the end of 2017 I choose my word for 2018 to be “Grace” as a reminder to give myself and others the same grace I receive from Christ. Little did I know I would have to lean into that grace harder than ever over the course of the next 12 months.
So here I am, reflecting back on the day, as well as the whole of 2018, reminding myself that Christmas isnt about a feeling or a season or a tradition. Christmas is about Christ. It’s about the ultimate gift that has ever been given by a Father and a mother.
It’s not the gifts, the food, or the sparkly lights. It’s the gathering together to have the conversations about our Savior like the one we had today with my 22 year old brother and my 8 year old son. Seeing my brother and my husband pour into the life of my child knowing that he is preparing to change the world one day for Christ.
It’s the songs of worship being absentmindedly sung by my 6 year old as she plays with her toys and the heartfelt prayer for peace and love in the world at the dinner table. And the ginormous smile on the face of my 16 month old as she has the attention of everyone in the room.
So no, maybe Christmas didnt feel “Christmassy” this year and who knows maybe it never will again…at least not in the same way it once did. But what it did feel like was a day of family being together to share in the glory of the birth of our Lord and our Savior.
Happy Birthday, Jesus. Thank you for your willingness to humble yourself for such undeserving individuals like us. The thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices indeed!