(Photo Credit: Anna Anderson/Piktochart/Achona Online)
Hearing the same three Christmas songs over and over again is driving me crazy (thanks to my little brothers). There’s only so many times I can hear “All I Want for Christmas is You.” It seems like Christmas is coming too quickly this year; maybe because of those months in quarantine. For the first time I am not prepared at all, and my family isn’t either. Typically this is a really exciting time for me, and I embrace all of the Christmas-y things, but this year I have been so busy that Advent snuck up on me. I don’t know about you, but all of the commercialized Christmas-ness is starting to annoy me.
Even though people are trying to make Christmas feel like Christmas this year, it still feels like it’s March. Of course different stores are begging for you to buy their toys and products. The focus is on making sure all of the gifts are ready, the ones we were planning on getting and all of the extra ones we are coerced into. But our Christmas traditions and the true meaning of Christmas is being discarded in our rapidly-paced days leading up to the 25th. What happened to all of the Christmas joy that always befalls us? Is it really December 15 already?
I was so excited to do something good for Advent this year to prepare for Christ’s coming. I am enjoying reading a chapter of Luke every day because there are 24 chapters of Luke and, therefore, I will have read the entire story right before Christmas day. Honestly, though, I have fallen behind and need to catch up. These days are passing too quickly, and all of our tests and projects are thrown at us, due in just a few days this week.
In all of this mess of the craziness of Covid, commercialized Christmas, our own imperfections, and our insane last week of school, we get the temptation to give up altogether. To not catch up on that Advent preparation, to get overwhelmed by school and forget it all, to blame ourselves for every mistake we’ve made and convince ourselves of our unworthiness, to let Christmas happen without recognizing the true meaning and using it to grow in relationship with Christ.
I’ve been there. But you know what? We need to finish the semester strong, catch up on that preparation, and, most importantly, realize that Jesus loves us amongst our imperfections and convincing ourselves otherwise is not good and not of God, and find our own ways to make Christmas a special day to grow (and celebrate) with Him. One way to make room in the inn of your heart for Jesus in these days leading up to Christmas is to perform small acts. Do something such as choosing to eat at home instead of a restaurant one night, or choosing to drink water instead of soda, to add another piece of hay to the manger in your heart. Those small acts will create a warm place for Christ’s coming. Spend a few minutes of time in prayer every day, give Him the time to do work in your heart. Growing in your relationship with God, no matter which path you choose to do it in, is the best way to prepare for Christmas. Keep Christ in Christmas this year, you will not regret it.
Merry Christmas, everyone.