I understand that I'm in the minority when it comes to this, but I have a feeling that quite possibly there is someone out there that feels this way too. So this is also for you, dear brother or sister who has a hard time pretending that this is, in fact, "the most wonderful time of the year".
See, back in August, when everyone is all
I'm over here like
It's S U M M E R!!Why do you need to tell me how many Fridays there are until Christmas!? Like, let's just cross that bridge when we get there, k?
It seems like it comes faster with each passing year. Fourth of July hits and it's all down hill from there. Pretty soon we're at Labor Day, school starts and then forget it. Once the school supplies get put away the Halloween decorations start and if that's not too much, like a week before Halloween even comes they're putting Christmas decorations out already! Thanksgiving is like the middle child that gets forgotten at the grocery store. Seriously.
And once Thanksgiving does come and go in a flash, it all starts. The lists and the shopping and the decorating (or lack there of, in our case) and the baking and the date planning and the scheduling family events and the school programs and don't forget the miserable cold Wisconsin weather. So driving anywhere is a nightmare. It's just so much. And selfishly, I must admit, that since my birthday falls just 11 days before Christmas I always feel like an afterthought this time of the year. I wish it didn't overwhelm me so much, but it does.
It just does.
I mean, ask the Farmer how many melt downs I've had about how much I hate December.
And it's only December 4th.
I'm not proud of myself.
I'm sure for others who can't wrap their heads around this "wonderful time of the year" it's because of missing loved ones, burnt bridges with family, lack of family - a spouse, children, parents, etc. There are many reason that people dread this season. And reflecting on just that is what has helped me change my attitude (at least start to) this year. Because I have been blessed beyond measure. I have a beautiful family, parents and in-laws whom I love, siblings to celebrate with, too many nieces and nephews to count, a beautiful home. I have my health, a car to drive, a job, plenty of money to buy all the gazillions of presents for everyone on my list. I have absolutely nothing except my own selfishness to blame my dislike for this time of the year.
I heard a song on the radio (because you know, they think it's acceptable to play Christmas music on November 1st) and the lyrics said *something like* (because my memory fails me and I can't seem to find the song online) "God show me the wonder of heaven touching earth". The kids at church are singing a song that says "But God displayed his mercy, the greatest gift of love, when we could not reach heaven, heaven came to us."
Heaven came to us.
And that's why this is the most wonderful time of the year.
Not because of presents, or cookies, or family, or presents.
So over the past 4 days - well, 8 days because my meltdowns generally start on or before Thanksgiving - I've been praying for God to show me the wonder of heaven touching earth. When I start to feel overwhelmed by it all, I take a breath and remember that I'm clearly not worthy of heaven, so heaven so generously came to me. In the form of a baby. The King of Heaven humbled himself, came down from his throne. "He made a way in a manger, a way to the cross". Wrap your minds around that for a second.
Because when I think about how insignificant my anxieties are this time of year, I feel terribly guilty and selfish - which adds to my overall dislike for the season. But when I reflect on the beauty of a tiny little baby coming to this world, who would grow into a sinless man, a perfect sacrifice for my sin, I'm humbled. And I celebrate. Thank you, Jesus.
And in the end, the shopping always gets done. The gifts always get wrapped, the cookies get baked, the schedules all align and it's always a happy ending. It's getting there that has been such a challenge for me. God's power is so much more than enough, but I need to remember and rest in His strength, not my own.
In conclusion, Merry Christmas! Happy Birthday to the King! May His light shine this season - and may I remember exactly the reason for the season and not be overwhelmed by all the minor details.
Jesus is the Reason for the Season.
The Farmer's Humbled Wife