I was going to do a cool Christmas picture, but then this one came up and I couldn’t resist. I really did have a good heart when I started searching, I promise.
Anyway, this Journal is about Christmas: traditions, favorite memories, things I don’t like about it…. etcetera. It ended up turning out pretty random. Oh well.
It’s cold out.
I’m bundled up in my jacket as I pump along on my bicycle, the wind nipping at my face and freezing my nose. My bare hands feel nothing but stinging cold, and the smell of roasting chestnuts and sweet potatoes waft through the air. The brakes screech as I stop to jump off the bike, and I fumble with the lock, then lean the bike on its stand. Walking hurriedly into the building, I exhale as the sudden warmth rushes to greet me with light and music, chasing away the cold.
This kind of excited feeling only comes in fragments of a season.
Yes! I love Christmas, even if I don’t exactly have a favorite Christmas memory. The scene above probably describes the overall feeling, though, because that’s how I always picture it when the “feeling of Christmas” suddenly comes to me.
For me, Christmas is a time when the family gets back together again. The five kids can goof off together and hang out, everyone has a break from work and school, and everyone finally has an excuse to give presents to others just for the sake of expressing love and appreciation. We get to contemplate the wonder of the joy and hope and life God has given us, and we get to celebrate His birth.
If there’s anything I dislike about Christmas, it’s probably how easy it is to get self-centered. I know that Christmas is a time of joy for most; it means celebration, warmth, family. Yet for others, it can also bring depression, pain, and bitterness, maybe because of current circumstances, past experiences, or a mix of both. We often tend to ignore that in the midst of our own celebration, and I find that really, really sad.
In L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series, there’s a part where Anne invites her fellow teacher, sour old Katherine Brooke, to Green Gables for Christmas. Anne doubts the wisdom of her invitation at first, since Katherine seems to hate everyone and might spoil the whole time; but to Anne’s surprise, Katherine accepts, and they end up enjoying the time as Katherine learns what it means to really be loved and accepted.
The moral of the story? We’re all human. We all need a home to celebrate Christmas in and be loved in. Christ literally gave up heaven for the chance to be with us; can’t we give up little things like comfort or tradition to invite someone else to be loved? Would it kill us to make an extra effort?
Giving is one of the best parts of this holiday. Let’s give back to God by giving to the people He loves, whether that be through our time, a kind word, or a physical gift.