Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmastime or Christmas

I watched a bit of the morning show the other other day. I saw people in NYC all jolly and festive for Christmas. I saw hats, gloves, and scarves, Christmas trees, wreaths, and lots of people everywhere. Christmastime is about shopping, singing, being all warm and cozy, gathering with family, sitting by the fire, decorating, buying all the things that will help you be Christmasy, Right?

When I look at all of these things, I feel sad. I don't feel merry. I don't feel bright. I don't want to be jolly. I live every day with one of my precious children missing. The thought of fuzzy family gatherings makes me sick. Decorating? You mean I have to decorate this year? Do I have to stare at all of those decorations from over the years? Do I have to watch my children decorate a tree and hang up their sister's ornaments for her again this year? It doesn't feel merry and bright!

And, then there was the shopping. I didn't want to shop this year! What is the point? Everyone has more than they possibly need, yet everyone wants to open presents for Christmas. They ponder what they could ask for. They actually have to think about what to ask for! Mom's have to sift through their children's toys looking to get rid of a few so that they can get some more. I hear over and over, "I don't know what to get them, so I'm giving them gift cards." Is there any thought fullness anymore? What's the point of all of this?! Why does Christmastime feel so pointless?

I sure was thankful for a sweet little girl of mine who decided to teach me a few lessons this season. Just two weeks into December she had enough of all this "Christmas stuff" "everyone has a Christmas tree, but us!" I realized that I had to do this for my little girl! She needed me to decorate for Christmas. It was worth preparing for. With the tree up and the manger arranged, she asked to hear some music. I hesitantly turned it on. I watched and listened with a heavy heart as she danced and sang. She was soaking it in as if she had never heard those songs before. I realized that she hasn't heard them in three years and three years ago, she was only three. This was her first time. My heart continued to break as I realized that I have failed to give my children Christmas.

Now, it was just a little over a week until Christmas Day. I had shopping to do. The morning I set out to shop, this precious little messenger asked me a question. "Mommy, do you know why we give presents at Christmas?" I knew, but I wanted her to tell me. "It's because God gave us a gift at Christmas. He gave us Jesus, Mommy." Jesus was a gift of love! He was a gift of ultimate sacrifice. God gave us Jesus so that he could show us love, love to the point of death! As I drug myself through the stores, her words echoed in my mind. God gave me Jesus. Jesus. He is mine. He is the reason for Christmas. He IS Christmas!Giving my children gifts is o.k. I am showing them love. I am celebrating God's love.

I keep coming back to Jesus. He is Christmas. The picture that the world wants to create in my mind, that picture of Christmastime, takes my focus off of Jesus. I know that if I focus on that which seems perfect, but can never satisfy me, then I can't do Christmas. I must focus on Jesus...then, the rest of all that is broken, will fade. I cried as I imagined God giving the gift of a son, whom he knew would bear the sin of many, carry it to the cross, bleed and die as he would become sin. God knew He would turn His face to his own son, and this, this for me, for us. This is love. This is Christmas.