This is the time of year when I get the blues...
I took down all my Christmas decorations this afternoon. All the Christmas gifts have been played with/used/put away. Everything is all back in its place in my house.
And this is when I get that sad feeling. Christmas is over. It went by in a blur. Time to get on with the new year.
I am saddened even more than usual this year because somehow I feel like I missed Christmas. I missed the coming of the Christ-child. The season went by in a blur and a whirlwind without me even slowing down. Unlike Mary, I didn't spend time pondering the meaning of it all in my heart.
I got caught up in the commercialization of Christmas this year. We stayed so busy and on the go more than usual. We only read four nights of our Advent reading. I spent more money on gifts this year. Selfish spending. Buying things for my family. Things we don't really need. And I didn't give of myself this year. Didn't help anyone in need.
So I guess you could say I'm feeling bluer than normal now. I'm just not sure how I managed to mess up so badly this year. Oh, I suppose from the outside it looked like a wonderful Christmas at our house. Christmas decorations everywhere. Tree decorated with lots of pretty packages underneath. We baked some cookies, read a few pages of our Advent reading. Over the river and through the woods (actually, into another state) to Grandmother's house we went to spend meaningful time with our families.
But from the inside, from my perspective it was a complete miss. I missed snuggling on the couch watching Christmas movies with my kids. I missed participating in some of our Christmas traditions. I missed reading our Advent story and talking about what Christmas really means. I missed the chance to spend less on my family and do more for someone less fortunate. But most of all, I missed spending time with my Lord, dwelling on what He came to this earth to do.
I have spent this week after Christmas beating myself up and wishing I'd done things differently. But I've also spent lots of time in prayer, seeking my Savior's face, seeking His pardon, His grace.
And you know what He's spoken to my heart in the midst of my adversity? He has reminded me of the wonderful message of Christmas. A message of hope, of forgiveness. Because of Him, I can have peace. I don't have to live in defeat, fretting over my mistakes and my sin. I have been forgiven. Praise His holy name!
Another thing I've learned... Christmas is not a holiday to be celebrated once a year. It's a person. The person of Jesus Christ. So although the world has succeeded in commercializing Christmas and confusing its true meaning, I know that Christmas is Christ. And Christ lives in my heart so I don't have to wait until December to celebrate Him. Maybe I didn't miss Christmas after all.