I missed it this year. The holiness of it all. I didn’t make advent a priority this year and this I regret, deeply. It’s my own fault, really. We filled our December with wonderful family activities and these I cherish. We just forgot the balance in it all. We should have made the long drives home to make it to our Church every Sunday. I missed advent services. I missed the themes of HOPE, LOVE, JOY, and PEACE. I miss the lighting of advent candles in our home each night. We kept the tradition of opening a wrapped Christmas story book each evening, but we didn’t set up our advent candles and read around the candles like we usually have done. This has always been such a time of preparing my heart for the gift that is Christmas.
I wasn’t prepared this year. It came in a flurry of activities, wrapping paper, overwhelmed children, and lost dreams of what I thought Christmas should have been like for us this year. Then it happened. The kick in the behind I needed. It came on Christmas Eve in the form of a text from someone extremely dear to me who has every right to be sad and angry and bitter at God and life right now. And she wasn’t. And she isn’t. And she lovingly and wisely kicked me in the behind reminding me that being angry doesn’t solve anything and that I have a wonderful husband, beautiful healthy children, my own health, food on the table and clothes on our backs. That we have the opportunity to leave our dungeon and spend Christmas in a beautiful old farm house surrounded by family.
And so I did. I changed my attitude. The tears stopped. The gratitude started one little thought at a time. No, this wasn’t easy. It was a choice. Minute by minute. It still is. And although I missed the holy preparation of advent like I so love and need, we had a beautiful Christmas with family. Next year we will do things differently and remember to focus on the preparation of advent again. My soul needs this.
How was your Christmas? Was it magical? Was it just what you dreamed it would be? Or was it filled with sadness? Loneliness? Did you need an attitude adjustment like I did? Whatever it held, I truly hope that you were able to look beyond the superficial beauty, the piles of presents, perhaps the sadness deep within your soul, and remember the real reason we celebrate Christmas: the greatest gift of all ~ Jesus, coming to earth in the form of a baby. The beginning of a 33 year walk on this earth with us. His death and resurrection so that our sins can be forgiven, giving us life eternal.