I’m not feeling Christmas

I like the idea of feeling like Jolly Old Saint Nick on Christmas, but I tend to feel more like Scrooge. Well, maybe not like Scrooge, but maybe George Bailey: drowning in the midst of life and wondering if I am deeply missing something. “Should I be emotional right now? Everyone seems to be crying, should I be crying? All those people look bright-eyed and bushy tailed. What am I missing?”

Missing. There that word is again, missing. An absence, a lack, a need unmet. WHAT IS IT!?!? I don’t know, that’s why it’s there. If I knew, it wouldn’t be there. Maybe it’s the presents; maybe people are receiving better presents than me. Wait, what if they are giving better presents than me that sounds better. Oh, maybe they still believe in Santa? Is Santa real? Shoot. Do they like cold weather? Is it snow? No, people in the South love Christmas, can’t be snow. Certainly it isn’t Hallmark movies, at least not for everyone. The music? People love Christmas music. Ahhh! I don’t know!

I hope it’s not Jesus. If I am missing it on Jesus that would legitimately be bad. The nativity is great. My mom collects them and they are beautiful, maybe not historically accurate, but that’s not the hang up. We go to a service on Christmas Eve, that’s really great. We read from Luke (we mix in some Matthew) on Christmas morning before we open presents. That Jesus became a child is amazing to me, that excites me a ton. One Christmas I tried to get myself to cry, does that get me partial credit?  

Reading all of that my idea of “missing” Christmas sounds silly. That being said during the Advent season every year, what I do or, in this case, don’t feel or experience is anything but silly. In the age of FOMO, this seems to be something a little bit different. There is a difference between being afraid of missing out on every social event ever and missing out on an entire season, fear of missing out on one of the most universally celebrated holidays in the world. My concern is less that something fun or exciting or unique is happening that I won’t be able to participate in and more that something is wrong with my emptions emotions, my soul, and my heart. Certainly that sounds dramatic and I can vouch for that. How about you try missing out on Christmas for 28 years and get back to me. 

I haven’t missed Christmas. The movies and music specific to this season are great, I really do enjoy them. Although I don’t do well in the cold, even the appreciation it cultivates in me for warmth endears me to it it to me. Snow rarely falls in Texas, but my years spent in other states have taught me to enjoy the natural and unique beauty that the pure white of snow brings. Presents are great. Christmas is one of the few times of year that I really thoroughly enjoy being as generous as possible with my friends and family. Free from obligation, purely flowing out of love in a unique way. Receiving isn’t too bad either. 

And Jesus. Wow, when I think of Jesus. A teenage girl, chosen of God became pregnant by the power of God and the work of the Holy Spirit. Wow. 

Exchanging His throne in heaven for a food trough, the company of angels for animals, the adoration of all for the attention of few, the power of God for the weakness of a babe, timeless eternity with the Father for the limits of a newborn. Wow. That excites me. 

Christmas looks different for me and I am sure it does for some of you as well. Maybe you aren’t a “feeler”, wouldn’t describe yourself as sentimental, possibly your background with Christmas has exacerbated the void you feel. That’s okay. Emotions and are real, they are valuable, but they aren’t everything. Find what you do enjoy about Christmas, what are the things that are fun and exciting for you. Maybe it’s not the gifts, but it’s the food, enjoy that. Or maybe you don’t love the cold, but enjoy the décor. Let yourself enjoy that. Maybe you don’t celebrate Christmas or Advent, be free. Whatever you do, cultivate your love for Jesus. You may not love the nativity, you may be irked by its inaccuracy, but you better love what it represents, otherwise you won’t be able to truly enjoy any season. Cultivate your love for people. Maybe you don’t “do” presents, or donate to Santa, who apparently does a ton of volunteer work for Salvation Army. That’s okay. 

I don’t know what a Merry Christmas looks like for you, I still don’t know what it looks like for me, but I know for a fact that if my Christmas looks different than everyone else that’s okay. Nothings stopping me from having a merry Christmas.

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