I found myself reflecting on Christmas memories as I hung up the stockings, fought with those crazy strings of lights, and looked over recipes that I hope to bake…and EAT!
Growing up as a kid, our family had little money for extras but I never felt cheated out of Christmas because of their love and their many homemade gifts. There was a lot of family celebrations with cousins and other relatives skating on the pond and playing games. Oh yes, and lots of yummy food!
When I became a single mom, money was super tight and I had to share the holidays with my ex. From past experiences, I knew it wasn’t about the gifts but about making special memories with my girls that I still keep tucked in my heart to this day. Believe me there were some years I just wanted to skip Christmas.
For some of you, Christmas time can be very painful. Memories of your childhood, of your marriage and family break up, and constant financial burdens can be downright overwhelming to say the least. Getting together with the extended family can be stressful. Someone drinks too much, yelling matches of past issues that they just won’t let die, and gift expectations from some. Sure makes for anything but fun. Your ex has the kids this year and it is going to feel lonely. Fa la la. Believe me, I bet you are saying you want to skip Christmas.
A couple thousand years ago, Mary and Joseph struggled with “Christmas”. Angels came to them to tell them that the virgin Mary was to give birth to God’s son, Joseph was engaged to her and wondering what to do, and the Shepherds and Wise Men were visited by angels telling of a coming Messiah. And yet there in a non-assuming stable, The Saviour was born. I am so glad that God choose not to skip Christmas!
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 (NIV)
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:20-23 (NIV)
Whenever I become perplexed, stressed or sad over Christmas issues, those verses give me hope that this PAST event will trump any past that I have. Because of Jesus’ birth, His saving power to forgive my sins, and His help for today and tomorrow gives me His ultimate peace. I can rest in Him, I can work through the past, I can accept that I can’t change the past and then work toward how I will deal with this Christmas.
Want to skip Christmas? I get that. Would you like to try and work through some positive Christmas steps? That would be awesome. Are you glad God didn’t skip Christmas? I can say without a doubt, YES! YES! YES!
- Be thankful for that Christmas Past over 2000 years ago.
- Reflect on Jesus’ birth, His sinless life and His ultimate Sacrifice for you.
- When painful Christmas situations come up, know you are not alone. Jesus’ is there.
- Begin to prepare and work through some past issues so you can face today and tomorrow.
- Create a new Christmas memory with your kids.
YOU CAN DO THIS!
NEXT TIME: Christmas Present