Can you even believe it’s Christmas time already? I feel like as much as we long for this season to get here, it still always sneaks up on us somehow. By the time the 25th actually rolls around I find myself needing a good long nap to recover from all of the festivities! Anyone with me?
I have ALWAYS been a big Christmas person. I break all the rules and start decorating the minute November 1st turns around. What’s wrong with having a tree up at Thanksgiving anyways? I turn on Christmas music the minute I get in the car and Cyber Monday is a holiday in itself in my book.
This year brings us even more excitement as it is Anniston’s FIRST Christmas. I mean technically she was around last Christmas (I was 36 weeks pregnant), but this is her first Christmas on this side of things and I cannot be more thrilled. My parents were the King and Queen of Christmas when I was growing up and I plan on following in their footsteps for Anniston. Christmas cookies for Santa will be baked, reindeer food will be made, and we will stay in our pjs as long as possible on Christmas day! I know she won’t even begin to understand it all at just 11 months this year, but I hope our joy is evident and she has the best first Christmas a girl could ask for.
But I’m not just writing this to tell you how excited I am and how perfect everything is. For a lot people, Christmas (the holidays in general) is a difficult time and I completely understand that too.
My parents got a divorce when I was 15. There wasn’t a whole lot of “merry” in that Christmas if you know what I mean. You can fake it all you want by telling people you get two Christmases, but I know the truth. I faked it too. There was not a lot of joy that year.
My dad passed away in the fall of 2015. The King of Christmas himself. The best Santa there ever was or will be. Instead of running towards the tree with excitement that year, I fell into my husband’s arms with tears that would not stop flowing. There was not a lot of joy that year either.
I don’t know your story, but I do know pain. I know what it’s like to face the holidays with dread. I know what it’s like to feel loss all over again. I know what it’s like to feel like there is no hope.
But thank goodness there is. Hope is here and His name is Jesus. You probably don’t want to hear that. I know I didn’t, but thank goodness He is. We live in a world where Christmas is all about bright lights, Santa Claus, and gifts under the tree. I love those traditions and fully partake in them. But if that’s all we have, where will we find the joy when pain comes? How will we find hope when all seems lost?
The gifts under the tree may not be able to heal your broken heart, but Jesus can. That is why He came those many years ago. In the midst of our brokenness and our mess ups, God sent His Son so that we may be forgiven. He sent His Son so that we may be saved. He sent His Son so that we can hope. He sent His son so that we will never be alone again.
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:23
Have hope! He IS with us, friends!
My prayer and my hope this Christmas season is that we lean into the One that loves us so much that He sent His son for us. I pray that in the midst of joy or pain, we remember why we celebrate this day and give thanks to the One who came for us and will never leave us. If everything else seems lost, hope in that. Trust in that. Find joy in that.
Merry Christmas, my friends. May your days be merry and bright.