Christmas is . . . hard for me this year.
It is hard trying to find any bit of Christmas spirit. There is none.
It is hard to go Christmas shopping, or put up Christmas decorations.
Okay. That last one I didn't do. My husband put the tree up a couple of weeks ago and just yesterday, my daughter and him put on some of the ornaments. I sat by and watched.
There is no spirit in me for Christmas and that is definitely foreign to me. Like I have said before, I used to always LOVE Christmas.
Their have been some say that I need to do certain "Christmas" things for my daughter. To be quite honest, I am really getting sick of hearing that.
I don't have to do anything.
I know that sounds really defiant and bratty but it's the truth.
Christmas for me this year isn't full of the usual splendor and good cheer that it has in years past.
It just doesn't.
Do those people who tell me what I "need" to do realize that they are ripping the scab off my still-fresh wound? Don't they realize it hurts more to step into the light of "here, everything is wonderful" when it really isn't at all? It never was. Don't they realize it hurts to pretend? It hurts to be among those who have never hurt this way?
I have been thinking a lot about Christmas. Not like I used to, mind you. But I have been thinking a lot about it.
I think, that for all these years, I have approached Christmas all wrong.
A few months ago, I was dreading this season. Now I am counting down the days when it will be over. I looked towards to December and saw nothing but black. I still do see a lot of black in spite of all the twinkling lights.
About a month ago at church, my minister preached about Jesus' birth and the circumstances surrounding it. He talked about a terrifying King and the beauty that was absent. He talked about the terror and darkness that surrounded the One True Kings birth and I felt . . . relieved.
Relieved to know that I am not the only one who does not see Christmas as that which we have made it. A lot of masked cheer and too much consumerism veiled in good intent.
We look back to His birth and we have made something of it that it wasn't. We have made it seem like everyone was waiting on pins and needles for His arrival and all the world was right.
It wasn't! He arrived in a barn with only the animals as a witness! There were no bells ringing signifying new life. Let alone a birth of a King. There was no write up in the local paper declaring His weight or naming the proud parents. He arrived in the midst of pain and darkness.
So much darkness! He arrived at a time when a ferocious King feared anyone who would steal his crown. He killed family members who threatened to take it! He killed innocent male babies and children because his fear overwhelmed (Matthew 2:16).
It was not a Hallmark movie set. It was awful.
It was dark.
Just like this Christmas is for me.
For all these years, I have thought all the wrong things about Christmas.
It isn't about Santa Claus, trees, twinkling lights, dishes or gifts.
It is about a ray of Light who dared to enter the darkness.
It isn't about the gifts we buy, the foods we make, and all the pretty things we decorate our homes and packages with.
It is about darkness and how an innocent, pure baby broke through and created a way of Light for Life.
I'm not saying Christmas Trees, decorations and shopping are wrong or bad, I just don't want Christ to be an after thought or use Him as an excuse. I want Him to be the reason. I want Him and what He did to dwell in me and motivate me.
I want to give to those who are in true need. In need of food. In need of water. In need of shelter. In need of the Light.
If this is what I have received from the darkness, I will take it.
It is Truth that comes down and pierces the darkness with Light.