Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Hallowed Ground

I love Christmas.  I always have.  When I was a child, I didn't understand why Christmas Day had to end.  I thought time should just stop and it should stay Christmas forever.

When I became an adult, and when I became a mom, I wanted Christmas to be just as special for my son.  I worked so hard to make everything just right.  Everything had to be just so.  The year Cody was 4, I stressed myself out so much trying to make things absolutely perfect.  After I put him to bed that Christmas night, I breathed a sigh of relief, and thought, "I'm so glad that's over."

I sat there in my living room, shocked at the thoughts I was having.  How did I get from wishing Christmas would never end to being glad it was over?  I swore I'd never feel that way again.  That was the year that I took a step back and stopped trying to make Christmas about the things.  I stopped stressing myself out so much and took a much more relaxed attitude towards the holiday.

If we only have three different kinds of cookies instead of 7, then three will be enough.  If I only make two kinds of candy instead of 6, then two will be enough.  If I don't get every inch of the house decorated, then a tree and a nativity will be enough.

That was the year Christmas became fun again.  That was the year the joy returned. 

I know people who hate Christmas.  They hate everything about it.  To them, it's a time of stress and societal pressure and unrealistic expectations.  It breaks my heart to hear people talking like this.  I pray that someday these people can break out of the trap that nearly ensnared me all those years go.

I pray that they can approach the manger, and remember -- as Linus told us -- what Christmas is all about. 

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