I get these wild notions where I want to slam my front door on the faces of cheery well-wishers and chipper carolers. I mean, I wouldn’t! I just mull the idea around in that selfish ol’ head of mine.
The strains of Jingle Bell Rock can nearly put me over the edge. (Maybe because I’ve heard it 3 billion times since Black Friday. Not that anyone’s counting.)
Erratically blinking Christmas lights give me a bah-humbug headache.
And the super friendly holiday greetings from the super fabulous Starbucks baristas are seriously getting on my nerves.
I know, I know. My stinky attitude is definitely a problem.
But please hold off judgment for a moment because I’m going to divulge something very personal here.
Christmas stresses me out.
My fingers even whispered as I typed that last sentence. This is not an easy thing to admit.
It’s like my mind and my body doesn’t have time to detox as it jumps from one holiday to the next. I’d rather dig my nails into November and hold on for dear life.
To embrace the euphoric high of thankfulness overflowing from Thanksgiving. To count my blessings rather than my To-Dos. To grasp gratefulness rather than a shopping list. And to cling to the promises of God’s Word instead of the crazy ads begging me to buy more, binge more, BE MORE!!!
I cringe at the excessiveness I see. And my heart physically hurts with the knowledge of those who will struggle this holiday season. Maybe having lost a loved one. A job. A marriage. Or having experienced a difficult change that has altered the landscape of their everyday.
It’s hard to be of good cheer when there’s so much brokenness and heartache surrounding us.
Deep down I do truly love Christmas time. It really is my favorite holiday of all. Not just because of the music and lights and snow and sparkle of delight that seems to cover the month, but because of what it means for us as believers. Sometimes I simply struggle to jump from appreciation and acknowledgment into uninhibited harking of joy.
Well this season let’s make a pact. Let’s enter the festivities armed with a hefty dose of grace. Some gentleness. A little bit of patience. And a healthy helping of perspective.
And if the frivolity or craziness of the season begins to bum us out, we’ll just hit pause and lean back onto that foundation of thankfulness.
Thankfulness for who He is. For what He has done. And for what He will continue to do.
Because that’s what really matters.
So goodbye, Mr. Scrooge.
And hello Gratitude.