Will you hate me if I confess that I don’t like the holiday season? That’s not to say I don’t like Christmas. I am unspeakably grateful for God’s gift of His Son, and for the salvation that flows out of Him. But I don’t like all the stress and tension and busy-ness that invariably accompany the holiday. Six weeks of…
- a schedule gone topsy-turvy, which is to say no schedule at all.
- heavy traffic and nightmarish lines in the store every time I leave the house for milk.
- hype and hysteria in my inbox.
- gift planning, shopping, shipping, for everyone you love – because of course you must buy a gift for everyone you love or even like.
- tired, cranky children who are perpetually overdosed on sugary holiday sweets.
- looking for addresses for Christmas cards. If you think it doesn’t count just because I haven’t actually finished Christmas cards in 10 years, you’re wrong; guilt just adds to stress.
- cranky, scroogy Mom trying to put on a cheerful face and pretend she’s having fun and getting enough sleep, because what sort of person doesn’t like Christmas?!
Sometimes, I envy the Ingalls and their blizzards. A quiet Christmas at home with little fanfare and one small gift apiece for immediate family sounds appealing. But who am I fooling? Quiet, with 12 Coghlans trapped inside? I can hear the maniacal laughter already. I know that the problem is with me and my attitude, because much of the tension flows out of our blessings:
- If we didn’t have money to spend on Christmas, we wouldn’t have to figure out who is on our list and what to buy them.
- If we were struggling to put food on the table, we wouldn’t have to begrudge the time spent on cooking all those holiday goodies.
- If we didn’t have children, we wouldn’t have to put up with their insulin-driven rollercoasters.
- If we didn’t live in a prosperous land, we wouldn’t have to deal with traffic jams and sales announcements and endless mobs of shoppers.
And if we didn’t have a Savior, we wouldn’t have to concern ourselves with how to celebrate His birth.
photo credit: Patrick Qby