Are you lonely? Christmas will remind you of that. Over and over again. Ugh.
Is their strife in your family? Rockwell certainly didn’t paint a portrait of that for a Christmas card.
Are you in debt? Um… yeah, Christmas will illuminate that one like a beacon in the night.
Do you have a habitual sin that plagues you when stress comes? Smoking, eating, drinking, not eating, exercising too much, shopping, etc. AA and Alanon rooms are packed during the holidays and I’m sure other programs are as well. Something about the expectation of the season seems to bring out the worst in each of us.
Is your family broken? Christmas has a way of declaring to the world that your family is not together. That you are somehow marked as different since you don’t have the “complete” family that others have at Christmas Eve services, Christmas Day, etc.
You never really know what others are dealing with or going through. The outside often masks the true story.
But… Christmas can also bring healing to the brokenness and joy in the midst of it all.
This Christmas was strategically different. After hearing about the Christmas Adorenaments® on KSBJ, I purchased them online. Each one of us took turns (including our dog, lol) hanging an ornament on the tree which featured 7 names of Christ from the book of Luke. We read from the book that came with it describing that particular name. It was a great way to keep our minds focused on the real meaning of Christmas during the month of December.
We also participated in our church‘s Advent Conspiracy again this year. After discussing it, the decision was made to “save” one girl in India which would be $381 through a ministry called As Our Own. The kids didn’t think we could do it but I encouraged them to ask God for the money. So they did. Sure enough… we had ABUNDANTLY more than what we had asked God to provide. Not only could we save one girl, but we could bless two other families as well. Talk about a life lesson in faith! And what a joy to be able to bless others just as we have been blessed.
And… we also celebrated Christmas morning all together. Meaning, their dad joined us as we opened gifts, ate breakfast at Denny’s, and went to a movie. There was something so right about it… but also so sad. I’m thankful that we can do that for our kids. They were obviously happy with our morning together and I have to say I was as well. To those in Denny’s and at the movies, we were just another family out enjoying Christmas. It was nice to feel “normal”.
So, although Christmas CAN be a time that highlights our brokenness, it can also be a time of miracles, joy, and celebration – but it’s a choice. It all starts with simply asking. Humbly asking God to change our hearts. To heal our broken places.