So here’s this crazy thing: I wish Christmas was over.
There, I said it. Call me crazy. Write it off. Label me emotional. Or… maybe, just maybe you feel the same way?
You see, never in my life have I felt this way before. Ever. I love Christmas. Love it up and down. Love celebrating Jesus’ birth. Love the joy that comes with Christmas. Love the hope. Love all aspects of Christmas and the holiday season. I love the trees, the lights, the shopping, the wrapping, the movies, the baking, the cooking, the sweets, the salty, the cards – oh the cards, probably my favorite part of “Christmas things”. I love the picking out of the perfect card. I love getting them in from others. I love waiting for mine to arrive. I love addressing them and praying for each family, each person I send them to. To me, it’s worth the work. I display the cards I get all over my living room. I leave them up through January, at least.
But I noticed something was wrong this week. I have spent over a week working on my cards. It’s been ok, but it really stressed me out this year. And I found myself feeling differently than before towards it all. So yesterday morning I texted this to my friend, Julie, who’s baby died in August:
Moment of truth: can Christmas be over yet?
I thought I’d be ostracized from society for thinking such things. Thought I’d be banned from the church. That it might mean I don’t appreciate Jesus and His love for me. But then I realized those things were crazy. And let’s just be honest. It’s just hard this year. And it’s not just hard for me. I know it’s hard for a lot of you, too. I know it’s hard for Julie and her family. I know it’s hard for my Grandfather who is spending his first Christmas without his wife after 63 years of Christmases with her. I know it’s hard for the 3 different families I saw at the cemetery today burying loved ones. I know it’s hard for my friend who has struggled with infertility for years. I know it’s hard for the families who have nothing. I know it’s hard for the families who have everything but feel empty. I know it’s hard for the family estranged from loved ones. I know it’s hard for people who lost a loved one a year ago or twenty years ago.
This year I learned that Christmas isn’t always merry. And in years past I judged and labeled people as grinches or as missing the true meaning of Christmas. I get, and so appreciate and need, the true meaning of Christmas, but that doesn’t mean this one isn’t hard. And the beautiful thing about that is that God knows that. He knows how this time of year can be extra hard, and I believe He’s extra tender.
So in all of this, I want to share that I get it now. I get how it can be hard. And I’m thankful my heart is more sensitive to it now. I also wanted to share how I feel because after talking with several people who also told me they felt this way, I suspect that many of you might, too. And I want you to know that you aren’t alone. So know this Christmas, even if it’s hard for you, especially if it’s hard for you, that you aren’t alone. And we’ll get through it.