When I was a little girl, my pastor said something that shook me to my core. I remember it as if it happened just yesterday. It was a casual comment, made in the midst of polite conversation as we all sat around one summer evening, eating peanut butter ice cream on the screened-in porch at our pastor’s home.
I loved my pastor and his wife. They were kind and generous, and they often invited my family and me into their home for dinner. My parents reciprocated — not out of a sense of obligation, but because there was a true friendship among our families. I admired my pastor, and I respected his thoughts about the world and so, when he casually tossed out these words, “Oh yeah, my wife always has her Christmas shopping done, and the presents wrapped, by the end of August,” I thought the world was ending.
“What?” I asked, out loud. “August?” my seven-year-old self inquired.
“Yep,” the pastor smiled at me, and his wife nodded her head to confirm this astounding news which was slowly revealing itself to be factual.
The adults returned to their conversation, laughing aloud and clinking their spoons against their bowls as they devoured the last delicious dredges of peanut butter ice cream. I, however, sat there in my chair, my legs dangling above the ground and my ice cream spoon paused in midair.
My child mind was reeling.
How in the world, I thought to myself, could anyone be thinking about Christmas — in August?
I have never been a planner. I live in the moment. When left to my own devices, I am spontaneous and carefree. I fly by the seat of my pants. The organized people of the world shudder in my wake. I am never — and I mean that quite literally — thinking about Christmas in August. Not ever. This, of course, causes quite the conundrum when Christmas actually does roll around. Not to mention the fact that I’m a terrible gift-giver.
Not My Favorite
As a non-planner, I’ve experienced every brand of drama that results from not having thought things through, leaving me unprepared for one of the biggest holidays of the year. In the end, however, what I realized is that having my presents bought and wrapped in August wasn’t going to change anything for me. To have that done, I’d still have to plan it, right? Buying my gifts in August isn’t going to make me a better gift-giver, nor is it going to help me manage the looming expectations that come with the Christmas holidays — even if those expectations are a figment of my imagination.
So, one year I sat myself down and reasoned with me.
What I realized is that Christmas is not my holiday. Did you just gasp out loud? I’m sorry. And, here I should probably warn you to brace yourself because, what I discovered is that Christmas is probably my least favorite holiday. I know! I know! Lord, have mercy. As I told a friend the other day, “I love Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite holiday. Christmas? I can take it or leave it.” My friend gave me a high five in response.
And this, dear friend, is the point of this message. You-who-would-be-fine-with-skipping-Christmas-altogether, I simply want to say that you are not alone. Your reasons may be different from mine, but you are not alone. Consider this my high-five to you. I see you across the crowded room of ugly Christmas sweaters and tables laden with Secret Santa gifts, and I’m raising a glass in your direction. I see you shifting your weight from one foot to the other while you wait patiently in line at the big box store, hoping your credit card doesn’t get declined, and I am willing you across the finish line. It will all be over, soon.
Don’t Mind Us
For those of you who can’t quite get where we’re coming from, I offer this: It’s not the actual Christmas story that undoes us. We are truly enraptured by Immanuel — the gift of everlasting life and love and light — offered to the world in the form of a baby in a manger. We love Jesus. A lot.
It’s the shopping/wrapping/decorating/baking Christmas that wears us out. And the planning.
It should be said, we are deeply indebted to those of you who come alive during this time of year. If it were left up to us, everyone would be sorely disappointed each year on Christmas morning.
So don’t mind us.
We’re simply going to step aside and let you handle this one. We will cheer you on and sing your praises. We will marvel at your decorating skills and your ability to find the exact right gift for everyone on your list. We will rest in the knowledge that we are better suited for things like spontaneous trips to Paris and last-minute hair color decisions. Tell us where to stand for the holiday photo, and we will show up and we will smile. And, when we all sit down to Christmas breakfast and we bow our heads to say a prayer, we will breathe a sigh of gratitude for the way you always make Christmas so special — even for those of us who end up gifting everyone with five dollar gift cards for iTunes that we bought ten minutes ago at Walgreens.
Here’s to the Christmas lovers and those who’d be fine skipping Christmas altogether. We need each other, don’t we? We do. We absolutely do.Leave a Comment
Vicky Watts says
Christmas can be the hardest time for many, many people-those who are reminded of loss at this time, those with no family, those with broken relationships..the list goes on and on. How sad that we have the emphasis on how perfect it should be rather than the One who came into the brokenness with us. I can’t wait for ‘that’ Christmas to be over this year, but the Christmas that remembers Him who came into my mess to walk by my side, Immanuel..’that’ Christmas I need desperately.
Thanks for the message..Vicky
Dawn Renae Carson says
Vicky, you Nailed it!
Thanks for this! I can feel somewhat irritated by Christmas because I feel like it’s distracting from the normal routine of life. That’s what it’s like in my case at least. Then again I am from Texas and things can be really hard to get in routine of 😉
Only three words…YES! YES! YES!
Thank you for the high five. Much needed!
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Deidra, Will you still love me if I say I buy Christmas presents in August?? Part of the reason I do is because I have a hard time handling all the “stress” of Christmas. I am a planner and so, to have so many tasks thrown at me in one month, quite frankly short circuits my wiring lol. I guess I try to do as much as I can ahead of time so that I can actually try to still my heart to take in the real meaning of Advent. I’ve actually cut out a lot of things – like baking – because I’d rather spend that time reading my Bible in front of a glowing tree than to be frantically rolling out dough. I salute your “be in the moment” spirit. Your blood pressure probably stays level through December?? I also echo Vicky’s words, that Christmas can be one of the hardest times for people and the all too perfect Christmas merriment can sometimes be salt in the wounds. Wouldn’t it be great if we could just drop all the commercialism, the expectation, the gotta do it just right attitude and simply love Jesus – that’s what He truly wants from us for Christmas anyway. Love your spirit!!
Jeanne Takenaka says
Yes and Amen, Bev. I wish we could get back to the essence of Christmas, sans commercialism, and focus on Jesus.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Simpler is often better…thanks for being a “salmon swimming upstream” with me 🙂
Bev, I’m worse than you; I start right after Christmas when they mark down the sale items. I save 90% on Christmas Cards (and cheat with labels I print out) for I love the idea of keeping Christmas in one’s heart all year. My love language is in the giving (so I keep a notebook to keep track and not repeat gifts). At least for family and friends so close I know I’ll never let them go.
Deidra, I totally get your burn out on the commercial Christmas too. That’s why I just keep my loved ones in mind when I’m shopping for other things during the year and if I see something he/she would like (esp. if on sale), I snag it then. Lightens the load immeasurably; the notebook helps me keep track so I don’t double-do sis and forget bro entirely and it’s paid for before Christmas allowing me to relax and enjoy the season. Good luck; I’ll bake extra for ya.
I’ll send you my address for those baked goods, Laurabelle!
Sort of. 😉
Love you forever, girlfriend!
Thank you for this. I started reading without really attending to who wrote the article. It resonated so much that when I got to the ugly Christmas sweaters, I was right there, raising my coffee to you, I looked back at the author to see who I was glancing at across the room. I saw it was you, Deidre Riggs, and I smiled. I have always enjoyed the blogs that I’ve read of yours, but this? I have big love for you, Deidre, thanks for speaking for us – the last-minute non-planners. I love Jesus, but don’t always understand the production that we’ve made Christmas.
Cheers to you!!!
Jennifer Frisbie says
This is the first year I’ve looked at myself in the mirror and said “I just don’t care.” And I think you’ve summed up my feelings well. It’s not that I don’t want to do tradition for my kids or spend time with family or decorate the house in twinkle lights. I’m ok with getting down the four reindeer mugs for the little people in my house and splurging the $15 on the real wreath for my front door – the one that smells great and brings me joy. I even don’t mind making the loaves of sweet bread and treats for my husband’s employees. But at the end of the day something has to go. This rat race of December is enough to leave me feeling tired and cranky the entire month of January.
Why, again, do we do this? I’m tired just typing this. In fact – I didn’t even have time to read this post but I saw your sweet name and had to come on over. 😉
Thanks for cheering me up and making me feel “normal” today, friend. I am not alone.
Nope. We are not alone (as evidenced by the fun conversation here, right?). Here’s to finding time to breathe. xoxo
Oh girl, can I feel this message!
Not only does so much of it resonate with me, I work in retail and after being buried in everything Christmas all day long (starting on Halloween!) I have no desire to have more Christmas frivolity in my house when I get home!
I do love the quiet sitting times with candles that can happen this season. I do love watching the snow fall. I do love driving at night and seeing all the lights folks put up. And of course I love being reminded, more than usual during Christmas time, I have been sacrificed for and am blessed and loved by God every minute of every day.
Maybe all that is enough for a Grinch Girl?!
Oh no!!! Retail?!?!?! I can hear the piped-in holiday music in my head right now. So sorry. 😉 But also? Thanks for working retail for all the people who really enjoy the shopping. I’m giving you a standing ovation today, and wishing you peace and lots of candle time this holiday season.
I feel the same way too! Thank you for your story!♡
Amen!!! I thought I was alone with my feelings on this!
Thank you so glad I’m not alone…I enJOY Advent season…LOVE THANKSGIVING but not Christmas & appreciate knowing others are not mega-decorator-planner-shoppers like me
Sharon G Mathews says
Me too! Here’s to those of us who love Jesus…but Christmas not so much.
Pat Hubby says
I have become this. I love Thanksgiving, but could do away with all the “activities” and commercialism of Christmas. I am a planner too but have found December can zap one of energy and can leave the true meaning of Christmas wanting. My advice is to simplify and enjoy the advent of Jesus’ birth in scripture with family, if possible.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I’ll second that motion!
“Simplify.” I love that word. It even sounds beautiful.
Beth Williams says
I feel the same way. I love the music, but all the stuff ick! I personally hate that right after Halloween everyone throws Christmas at you for 2 months. Not the Birth of Christ Christmas-but the stupid commercialism part of it. We have lost the true meaning of Advent and Christmas in favor of black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Santa Claus. Children today think Christmas is all about what they can get not what they already have received from Christ. I love watching Charlie Brown Christmas. It shares the true meaning of Christmas.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
My husband and I watched Charlie Brown Christmas the other night and we remarked about how refreshing it was when Linus simply yet eloquently spoke the truth of scripture about the REAL meaning of Christmas.
I always forget about the Charlie Brown Christmas. Then, someone reminds me of it and I watch it, and it is beautiful.
Thank you Girl! I hear you.
I had a pacemaker implanted on November 3rd, to keep my heart rate from falling into the 30’s and 40’s. Then came a letter from my Health Care Plan that the Cardiologist had requested, and received approval, to continue my care until February 1st. I went to the online service and looked at my test results. I have refused to go to my bookshelf and pull out my copy of The A B C’s of the Human Body; I will see the Dr. on the 13th and ask for straightforward discussion.
Because God is not only in the loop, He IS the loop, I am not blind-sided by whatever is coming. He has given me peace, and, having wondered these past years just why I’m still here past 70 when neither of my parents lived to age 80, and I passed that three years ago, I am enjoying Christmas music, will write and send some cards, will enjoy the season and my children and see what December and January bring.
He is walking through the waters with me, and I feel wonderfully free of the part of this glorious month that I used to think had to consist of tea rings for breakfast now and then, wrapping paper, tinsel on the tree . . . I am enjoying Advent with Ann Voskamp videos on the Advent candles; and anticipating Jesus’ coming.
It is so good to read that I’m not mean and grouchy when I see how many more aisles in the store are Christmas paraphernalia this year, and wish it was like years ago when our gifts were home-made and the emphasis was on Jesus. Thanks to all of you!
Molly, thanks so much for sharing this. I’m squeezing in beside you to whisper a prayer of thanks for you and hope some of your wisdom and perspective rub off on me. Peace to you.
I needed this more than you know. I am not “womanly” in the sense of decorating my house, or keeping it neat and tidy, or cooking wholesome meals. I am messy, scattered, and I have no clue what fabrics coordinate with one another. I get overwhelmed thinking about making my house look like my friends homes and Christmas just gives me anxiety. I LOVE Christmas at my house with my little family but having people over to see my lack of decorating skill or having to buy the perfect gift just stresses me out. I am so thankful that you wrote this and super blessed to know there are others like me out there. You know, I kind of love my non-womanly self, I have a lot of fun. 🙂 God Bless each of you and I will pray that we all survive Christmas without the fear of not being good enough.
I love that you love yourself! That is way more than half the battle, isn’t it? The fact that you love you means you’re creating great memories with your family. They’ll remember the way you loved yourself—and them—long after the Christmas season has gone! That’s a gift that cannot be matched.
Terri Davis says
Amen sister! Glad to know there are others out there that feel the way I do! I appreciate the high five & for writing this blog for all of us to understand each other:)
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You have put words to my feelings. I don’t feel so alone. Now I can truly learn to appreciate and enjoy those who love Christmas. I am a planner but Christmas isn’t my time of the year. Your article brought me laughter and a smile to my face. I feel so much better about facing this Holiday Season. God Bless You, and say Hi to Alleigh for me.
I’m a single mom of 3 beautiful children, I work full-time and by the Grace of God I survive everyday. But when my children grow into lives of their own…I’m skipping Christmas. I picture myself on a beach, or in front of a fire, reading a book and napping on and off… all the while Praising God and all the goodness HE has brought me. BUT as for now, I put up a tree, hang up the stuff I’ve had for years, I bake the cookies, do the parties, and cook till I’m sick of food…all for those 3 little people to have memories… even though I secretly plan my future holidays!!!!
Look for me on the beach beside you in your future, imaginary holidays!
I’m so glad to know I’m not alone in this. My issue is the expectations that come along with Christmas — the expectations of getting together, mostly. It becomes a chore more than a joy. Having to balance multiple sides of the families is really difficult. One year, my husband and I said “Enough!” and got on a plane and went somewhere warm on Christmas Day. That was the only way we could get free and enjoy the day the way we wanted to – not the way our families wanted us to. It’s sad.
OK. I think we should all go to the beach together. Don’t you?
Thank you! I don’t feel quite so guilty now feeling this same exact way. Just too much hype for me. The only thing I really get excited about is Christmas Eve service at my church. That is truly my happiest moment, listening to the singing and our pastor reading passages from the book of Luke. It is a peaceful time for me and that’s what I like.
LOVE the Christmas Eve service!!! Yes!
Michele Morin says
One more way in which we are better because of community!
I happen to be one of those planners, but am enriched and blessed by my spontaneous friends (and children!). Too, I think all of us would vote “YEAH” and “AMEN” for the idea of reducing Christmas to its basic story and eliminating some of the trappings that drive us planners to shop year round as a stress-reduction strategy!
And to this I say, “YEAH” and “AMEN.”
Rebecca L Jones says
Well, I’m the opposite. I think Thanksgiving is all about food more than Thanks to God. I loved decorating, filling the house with fragrance and carols. I was a shopper all year, wrapper, no, buy a bag. I even took my dentist a gift. She received it as love, I once offended a doctor, who must not have celebrated it, with lotion. I don’t think she got the love but I was trying. A lot of this I did for myself because I enjoyed doing it. I think most everyone did. I know Jesus did. He had to be a planner and organized and ready for the day’s challenges, that’s why He sought the solace of prayer. I understand why many feel this way, it’s not a have to, or look at me, not about outdoing each other. we are not in competition but in Christ. I have cut back on decorating the past few years, but given the chance I’d probably be back it. Sometimes, doing so much for others, takes a toll on you. No on knows that more than Jesus or loves you more. Whether you decorate or just celebrate Him, I don’t mind and I know He won’t, it’s all about Him, not ugly sweaters and returning gifts. He’s one who keeps giving and I’ll keep forever. Do what gives you and others His joy and let one take it this season.
Totally resonated with me. I have been struggling to find myself get “in the spirit” all while being over scheduled with parties and more and more gifts to buy. With 3 young children, and a husband who just lost his job in October, I feel like sitting this one out this year. (Although who would do all the baking, crafting, and buying gifts? I need a Christmas fairy. And a laundry fairy.) Thanksgiving is my favorite hands down. Not all the fuss, just enjoying being surrounded by loved ones (and the food!) without all the pressure. I’ve been feeling terrible to have felt this way. Thanks for the great post!! You so nailed it with this one. ☺️
A laundry fairy would be a great Christmas gift! As for sitting this one out? I totally hear you, Sarah. We may not be able to actually sit it out, but know that I’m cheering for you on this one! Praying you and your family have the best Christmas ever!
It’s the feeling guilty for not loving Christmas that’s the worst. I love Christmas. . .but I hate that what it is truly supposed to represent gets so lost in translation. I hate that we are so super generous to make one day so magical. . .that we want to make sure the have nots have gifts on Christmas. . .but what about food on all the other days of the year. . .clothing. . .shelter. It becomes so exploited and over-rated. It’s difficult to ever feel the real gift of Christ’s birth. We are so materialistic. . .so far removed from what Jesus calls us to be. And we try our best to dress it up and make it sparkly and merry and bright. Jesus never knew any of those things. He was about true gifts: like love and commitment and sacrifice. Not an exchange. . .but sacrifice. . .
Here’s to guilt-free holidays! May they be yours in abundance! 😉
Deidra, thank you to the Lord for your honesty in this message 🙂 I echo Bev and Vicky that yeah, this time of year can be hard for many-I praise the Lord for His gracious presence in this season of lonely. This prompts the question what can be done to help the lonely, those with loss, and others to experience the warmth of Christ? To help them see and encounter our Lord in this season of His birth, His coming?
Bev, thank you for helping me to see I need to reclaim the planner in me “) Deidra, thank you for showing your in the momentness; it reminds me to be present to the unexpected 🙂
May we all love our Lord this Christmas for His great mercy and love, for who He is as we share and celebrate His birth this season 🙂
Jeanne Takenaka says
I might be whispering this right now, but (I like Christmas). I like the essence of it, not the commercialism. I am a planner, and my hubs and I have certain traditions during this season. I, like many others, wish we could skip the commercialism of this holiday and focus on what we say we’re celebrating. Over the past few years, I’ve worked to not be so busy that I miss the special moments with my family and friends. That I miss the whisperings God speaks to my heart of His amazing love. Slowly, slowly, our family is learning what is essential and what is not when it comes to celebrating the birth of Jesus.
Deidre, your post made me smile big. Thanks for sharing “the other side” with me. 🙂
No need to whisper. Shout it from the mountain tops! The rest of us would fail Christmas without you. 🙂
Jessica Watkins says
I love Christmas, but I’m a planner, type-A, lover of all things tradition. So although I can’t sympathize, I get it. Because I think at one time or another we all find ourselves here, whether it is momentary, for a season, or just in general! And that is why I LOVE this community. Transparency, honesty, love, and encouragement no matter where you are or who you are – because we all know WHOSE we are.
This was so timely — thank you! A few days ago I asked my children to consider skipping presents this year and giving the money we would spend to a charity, orphanage, or some other cause we would pray and talk about.
Kris Glenn says
There are a lot of expectations around Christmas. Our culture and media teach us that we need the perfect “Hallmark” or ” Norman Rockwell” Christmas or we’ve failed. In response, many of us try to achieve those, not realizing that it is often impossible. I teach a free workshop titled “Unplug the Christmas Machine” (based on the best selling book of the same name). The point of the workshop for each participant is to understand their highest values with respect to Christmas, and to focus resources there – rather than trying to do it all. The goal is a more rewarding Christmas. If you’re struggling with Christmas, I encourage you to get the book and work through it. It’s changed my approach to Christmas. ❤
Your words resonate with me. This year I am asking God to plan my Christmas celebrations, be in charge of gift giving and rest in Him as He unfolds His plans for this time of celebration of the most blessed perfect gift of Himself. I am climbing up in His arms and resting sweetly there while He gently unfolds His plans formeband my loved ones this most wonderful sacred time of the year.
I like Christmas, but the preparation and gift giving aren’t fun for me. There, I said it. It’s too much pressure. I have all of the ideas of what Christmas “should” look like every year, and I always feel like I fall short. I’m more of a birthday person. If I could pack my little family up and do a Christmas vacation I would. I do like Christmas cards though!
“There, I said it.” That made me smile.
Thanks for sharing, Many of feel the same, as I read everyone’s comments. I Love Christmas but I would love it if it was old fashioned. Just sitting in front of the tire and reading the Christmas story opening one gift and that’s it. It would be nice to just spend time with family and friends with out all the gifts. We already have the greatest gift that was ever given and that is Jesus. I think we should start new traditions like instead of the giving so of many gifts, just one gift to celebrate Jesus birthday and have birthday party instead. The other idea is to have family and friends that my not have received God free gift yet. Inviting them to come over to your home and have a nice dinner and bring a gift bag to the table and ask if anyone would like this free gift. Inside the Christmas bag you will have E-CUBE and you can share your testimony (story) and God’s story and tell them how this is the best gift you will ever given and pray for them to receive it.
You can get this Evangecube.www.evangecube.org. This is a great gift and tool to share the gospel with family and friends who are still on your prayer list to Know Jesus as their personal Savior. I hope you will have wonderful Christmas. Think about it we don’t have do what the world is doing. We can make Christmas reflect what it is really about. Do we really need to buy all those gifts or could we make something small homemade gifts,knitting or crafted things like the old days or Instead have our family give one big gift to someone in need. Give a sheep or a goat, cow or chickens etc… to a family in a poor country. Do we really need more stuff any way.
Bless your heart!! I dislike Christmas very, very much. I can’t wait until it is over.
Christmas seems very performance-based to me: who went to which party; who got which gifts; what’d you get your Secret Santa?; Other parents seem to say, “I’m taking my kids to Disney and got them the latest iPhone; what’d you get your kids??”…I change the subject…
It’s too much for me. And most years, I can keep up; but this year, I can’t even get out of the gate. I feel left out of society in a way. And the commercials, movies, etc. don’t help.
Anyway, thank you for saying it out loud! hahaha!
Peggy Beddall says
I eagerly read your post, Deidra, as I always do, but I was completely blindsided by my response! I started sobbing … ugly cry sobbing. I’m glad I didn’t read this earlier at my favorite coffee shop! I have always felt like the odd man out when it comes to Christmas … decorating stresses me out, I power shop on Dec. 24th almost every year, and last year I didn’t even take down our tree! I took the decorations off and declared 2016 the year of my Seasonal Tree, which means I threw a different colored fabric “tree skirt” down a sum total of two times this year and left the lights on! I love Christmas lights! My ideal Christmas would be walking through or driving through light displays every night in December … somehow they speak the wonder of Jesus to me! In all my adult years (I’m 63, so I have a lot of them), though, I have thought I was broken when it came to Christmas … a misfit … my poor family … what in the world is wrong with me? You helped me realize that I’m not broken and I’m certainly not alone! You said, “Hey, me too,” and threw me a high-five! I feel freer today … thank you!
Oh, Peggy! Sorry about the tears. But, glad this helped you receive a well-deserved high-five! You’re not alone, sister! Not by a long shot.
Kathy Cheek says
I see a lot of diversity in the comments and I think that is great. The evidence that God made us all different!
I haven’t bought one present yet, but I am enjoying the Christmas tree in the living room a lot and the few outside lights we put up. Our class had a White Elephant Gift Exchange Saturday night for our annual party and everyone had a good time, although we ate too much sweets!
I am also enjoying writing Christmas stories this year on my blog, that has been a joy for me.
I could literally cry right now knowing that I am not the Grinch my family states so often. I hate the craziness of Christmas. I just want to sit. Yes, give me a lighted Christmas tree, some soft Christmas music and a simple holiday drink. Ahhh, that is my Christmas.
The money spent because why??
The cookies made and eaten and weight gained for what?
The decorations all over only to be taken down and packed away again, the work?
Yes, I am called the Grinch of the family. I guess they don’t “see” the Christmas and meaning of Christmas that I feel. I feel it from being thrilled with the story of HIS birth…..not from being told to be immersed in everything BUT the reason for the Season.
Thought of you this morning, Kathy, as I sat on my couch with a mug full of hot cider, listening to nothing at all. 🙂 It was perfect.
Diane Bailey says
Once again, I love you! I am a planner, a gift giver, a look at all of the color options and see if it blends with my skin… I need friends like you to grab both my hands and make me spntaniously take a Thelma and Louise trip (without the scary parts)
And in exchange, I’ll set the table for your Thanksgving feast, with center pieces and homemade place seating cards…a week before the day arrives…❤️
Yes, please! ❤️
Larry Brook says
Your words always do a job on me. They either leave me crying or deep in reflection. They can also, as they did today, make me smile. Thank you very much.
May the joy of the real CHRISTmas fill you to over flowing.
Sandra Heska King says
I am you. Or are you me? Or… this is us!
This is Us! I love that show!!! 😉
I guess I’m a planner. But more than that, there isn’t anything I don’t love about Christmas. This article actually made me feel sad. I don’t understand how all the “busyness” of Christmas can dampen your spirit. Even in the “busyness” I find fun and fulfillment, AND Christ!! I have been through it all. I lost my husband to cancer 3 years ago, and since 2003, I lost a family member every 2 years for 10 years. It’s been tough. But, the Christmas season is an awakening for me. Giving. Finding that special gift for someone and being excited watching them opening it…it makes me appreciate what God has done for me and how God GIVES to us every day of our lives. I buy presents for people all year long. I see things go on sale and stock them in a cupboard in my basement. I even have gifts wrapped in cellophane ready to go when someone stops by to see me or have them ready to give a mailman or UPS driver. Watching them “light up” makes it all worth it. I love the “smell” of the holiday. It brings back memories of growing up and baking with my Mom…and I love all the decorations, the sights, the sounds, EVERYTHING. It’s a time when I can make someone happy with a little gift they didn’t even expect. This article and the replies shout self centeredness to me. It’s good that you enjoy Christmas in your “head”, but how sad it is that it hasn’t reached your heart enough to move you to love the action….and to embrace and enjoy that action. We have so many opportunities this time of year to express the love and giving of Christ with a simple gift….and your opportunity turns into irritation because it requires thoughtfulness and effort. Making people feel loved, appreciated, cherished, & remembered is the greatest gift we can give someone. Because you never know when it’s the last time you’ll see that person, or when it’s the last time you have the chance to make someone’s day …. Christmas is NOT about you, your comfort and convenience…once you understand that, you will be blessed seeing the joy on someone’s face when they realize they matter to you enough that you took the time and effort to do something especially FOR THEM AND you enjoyed doing it……maybe then the busyness will become joyful instead of a burden. Once this attitude enters your heart, you will practice it all year and it will give you such a sense of joy you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. I know I will probably get scolded by many of you, but reading how people HATE Christmas stifles me. The only reason people hate Christmas is because they’re too selfish to prepare for it and they use “materialism” to defend their position.
Karen, you sound like you get your happiness and energy from doing and giving. That is wonderful! Keep being who you are and enjoy Christmas! I am glad that God made us all different. May God bless you this Holiday Season.
First, I’m so sorry for your loss. And, thank you for what you’ve shared about your love of the season and the joy you find in the holiday. Yay for Christmas-lovers! Thank God for the way he accepts us just as we are. There is such freedom in knowing he gets a thrill from your love of the season, and he completely understands how others of us feel about it, too.
Peace and extravagant joy to you as you bask in the happiness of Christmas!
Dawn Camp says
I really needed this affirmation, friend. I’m a fellow fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants, last-minute, non-planner and tired of feeling like I fail at Christmas.
Lynn Schroeder says
Thank you for writing what I’m feeling. I’m trying my best to “feel” this Christmas and keep my heart focused on Immanuel.
Michelle Ortega says
High-fivin’! I coccoon into Advent this time of year, quietly love and serve, and then Christmas passes as its overflow.
Hi Ms. Deidra! Oh how Happy and relieved that I to am not alone in this feelings of Christmas! Like everyone here I Love Christmas and what it is Suppose to stand for but all the “busyness” drives me Crazier…lol One of my main problems with all the hustle and bustle is that my body doesn’t work that way physically, emotionally and mentally anymore! See I live with five different autoimmune diseases Yes I said Five (MS, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and the beginnings of Rheumatoid Arthritis) my body just turns against me when stress starts and I end up shutting down. My husbands family is “All” about the gifts and “SHOPPING” Lord don’t get me started on shopping! My “Wonderful MIL AND SIL” love to shop! They love to shop all year long! They change into their “shopping clothes” right after the turkey and all the dishes are put away and out of the door they go! THIS IS MY BIG PET PEEVE IS THAT THE STORES START THEIR SALES NOW ON THANKSGIVING DAY!! This is so Wrong so Wrong!
One thing we do is we make a list of things we need or would like to have and “ONE” of those gifts are purchased from my MIL AND SIL for each of us which is a total of eight not eight gifts eight individuals and nothing over $20-$25 per item. A couple of years ago I totally wanted Nothing to do with Christmas well at least the presents because I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown! So now I have my WONDERFUL MIL AND SIL to shop for me! They buy the gifts and even wrap them and all I have to do is right a check! Praise Our Heavenly Father! My WONDERFUL HUSBAND AND SON put up and decorated our tree and I get to sit back and enjoy it . I use to go all out on decorating the inside of our home and my husband did the outside. Last year our son did some of the inside decorations like my village collection but this year and at this point I think our beautiful Christmas tree is going to be all of our decorating which is fine with me and I hope for them.
I truly just wish we could go back in time and celebrate Christmas how it should be celebrated! With family and friends just being present and enjoying each other!! I’m also in line with a couple of ladies that said instead of buying each other a gift to total all of our money and donate it to someone who is in (Real Need) of something! And sit back and enjoy watching their eyes light up I don’t even want them to know who gave them what!! That’s the Greatest feeling in the world!!
Okay now that I wrote a book, Sorry, I will be praying everyone has a “Blessed Christmas”!! Amen!!
Jane Ornelas says
I find Christmas very lonely. I am left out of family celebrations because one daughter lives out of the area and the other prefers to live her own life. So I don’t even put up the little Christmas tree anymore – what for? I spend the day reading and spending time with Jesus. I don’t fix anything special for dinner – I don’t need the extra calories. I find it very sad to see Christmas decorations in the stores before Halloween. Why can’t we go back to a more meaningful time when we truly worshiped the Advent Season and not what the stores are selling? I don’t even buy presents anymore because what I can afford are not what my grandkids want. I can’t wait for after the new year to come. It did not used to be this way when my kids were growing up. But time flies by.
Yes. 100% YES.
Thank you, however, for recognizing that it IS a favorite for others!!! I love giving that”perfect” or near perfect gift. I love hunting for it and relish the wrapping of it. I love live love all the baking and spend advent baking and irritating my family by not letting anyone into the treats until Christmas Eve! I love seeing others’ outdoor displays (I can’t get my husband on board!) and love my tree the children decorate. I’d have a tree in each room if not for the cost! I love finding a home for my nativity scene… I just love the magical feel and dream and hope for a big thick snow. Christmas!!! Love all of Christmas baby Jesus & all the fuss!! Thanks for seeing us lovin it, too!!! (A large portion of my family is in your coffee mug raising camp – creating a feeling of being on an island with my Festivity Love!!!)
Deb Nordquist says
Yes! High-five to you!!! I agree wholeheartedly!!!
Thank you from the bottom of my Scroogy little heart. I, too, am truly enraptured by the story of Christmas and treasure Christmas Eve services. But Christmas as we know it? No thank you.
My parents grew up dirt poor and could never quite get past the depression mentality of their upbringing no matter our means. Add to that my mother being a church employee who dreaded the services and practices of December…she hated Christmas! I mean really, really hated it.
I thought I’d be able to forge my own way with my family, but that was easier said than done.
I could talk about it for an hour…is there Christmas therapy?!
I just thank you sincerely for giving voice to those who hate Christmas. Easter is my favorite holiday!