Oh December, what are you doing to me? Christmas is absolutely my favorite time of year and I am usually more than ready for it by the time it rolls around. Usually.
I’ve usually prepared menus, completed all the shopping, and even started watching all of the Christmas episodes of Little House on the Prairie by now. But not this year.
My lack of preparedness doesn’t change my love for December, Advent, and all things Christmas, but maybe it makes the meaning of it all a bit more real to me. December or not, life happens. The mess that sometimes comes with being a part of this world doesn’t stop for holy days.
Don’t get me wrong, I know He’s not exactly “arriving” in real-time (for the first time) this December 25th, but I find myself anticipating the arrival of the hope, joy, and peace that accompany the celebrating the birth of our Savior more than ever.
Oh, friend, how I long for my spirit to settle into that hope. That peace. And maybe that’s why my less-than-chipper words here are a little more on point than the version of me who has usually decked the halls, bought all of the gifts, and planned all of the stuff.
All of that will come, but for now, I’m just diving into God’s Word, listening to songs of praise, and seeing Him show up in all kinds of places. Oh, He’s here alright. Emmanuel. God is with us.
What I’m reminded this December is that the peace and hope ushered in by Jesus doesn’t arrive in green and red wrapping paper, in the stockings hanging on the mantle, or with a big parade. There was no fanfare or “hey, look at me!”
When Jesus joined us on this earth, He was born into a messy, smelly stable in a shady part of town and not a beautifully prepared nursery. He could handle being in the midst of our mess then and he can handle it now. Jesus doesn’t say to come to Him — or that He’ll come to us — once we’ve shaken off the blahs, cleaned up, or arrived in this life. He says to come as we are.
So maybe it’s okay for this Christmas to be a little less Pinterest-perfect. Maybe some real talk and seeking Him is the best way I can truly keep my heart focused on the gift that Jesus really is at Christmas and every other day.
Need some help preparing your heart for Christmas? My Heart of Christmas Spotify Playlist can help.
You can listen to it here: