Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Warning: Bah Humbug post to follow.
Around 25 years ago, I remember one Christmas where my sister, brother and I and our families all gathered at my parents' home. After all the gift-giving hoopla, my dad suggested that perhaps next Christmas we could all just buy gifts for the children, but not for the adults.
I thought, "He must be getting old to suggest such an awful thing. I hope I never get that old."
I did not understand.
Then a few years later a couple who Tom and I had known since our children were small, told us they no longer celebrate Christmas with gift-giving or decorating. They just have a dinner with their grown children on Christmas Day, rather another version of Thanksgiving, but where they think and speak of Jesus.
I thought, "Wow. Our friends have gone wacko."
I did not understand.
But now? Now I sooo understand.
And if I were Queen, I would declare, "Where Thanksgiving is about pilgrims and being thankful, let's just make Christmas about Jesus and being thankful."
But I'm not Queen, except maybe in my own home. (Maybe. I'm not sure.) And I've not yet decorated a thing nor have I wrapped one gift. Of course, I've had a cold since Friday, I spent two days in my robe and Tom's been sleeping each day since Friday because of having worked night shift, so I'm limited in how much noise I can make. And by the time he leaves for work, I've had only energy for washing the dishes and straightening things. But as of this moment, I'm planning to finally decorate and wrap gifts when he awakes, for he'll get up earlier since he doesn't work tonight.
Blah, blah, blah.
What am I saying? I'm saying that for eleven months of each year I happily work alongside Grace and she helps me with every task and the Christmas in my heart brings smiles and nudges me to buy surprises for the people in my life, to be given immediately. Usually they are timely--and I'd rather be timely than traditional. Way rather.
But in December? I don't know... For years I've felt so on my own when it comes to 'Christmassing' the way Everybody and his Aunt Marlene is doing it. I hate that 'on my own feeling'. There is struggle and guilt and longing for January (which, hey, isn't even close to being my favorite month of the year). And decorating? That is what I'm all about the rest of the year... and Christmas decor, well, to me, clutters.
So I'm thinking next December will be different. I'm thinking next year I will let go of everybody's expectations and I will only do that which Grace is doing right there beside me. And I will see how that goes. I will leap out of this ChristmasLikeEverybodyElseDoesIt boat and I'll either sink or swim.
But next December I am gonna jump out. I cannot spend another month like this, doing Christmas stuff only because I feel I should.
And trust me, I am ever so curious to see what happens! Change is never exactly comfortable, but when God is saying, "Change," it becomes way more uncomfortable to disobey. And I feel that discomfort, especially when it occurs to me--ordinarily--I am a bold Christian who shares her convictions, yet why haven't I been brave enough to let go of additional Christmas traditions?
And in case you are curious, Tom and Naomi and I are on similar pages about this. Hmmm... I'm thinking that is a good clue.
Oh, and if you still feel led to Do Christmas, I say more power to you. Decorate and celebrate double for me, ok? :)
"Sometimes we must step out in order to find out." ..... Joyce Meyer
"Unto you is born this day, in the City of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."