Mark and I are your typical holiday couple. I go all in and he would rather ignore the holidays completely. It use to drive me completely bonkers. Didn’t he want to have fun? Didn’t he want to celebrate Jesus? Didn’t he want to be peaceful, comfortable, and take a break from life?
A few years ago when our kids were little a friend of mine went on vacation. She was really looking forward to a great time with her family. When she returned we chatted over the phone. She said, “you know what, vacation with family is really parenting somewhere else.” Veteran parents know this from experience, but no one really prepares you for it.
This mentality is similar to holidays. We want holidays to rescue us from our everyday boring lives. We want holidays to be a vacation from the hurt and chaos of life. When all they do is add to the hurt and chaos instead of the comfort, peace, and joy we’re looking for, we’re left confused, hurt, and jealous.
Jealous and hurt because we may be reminded of the lack of family in our lives. Confused and frustrated when we don’t even know how we will pay our rent and electric bill, let alone find the money for presents. Instead of retail therapy, it becomes holiday therapy that doesn’t work.
Our most successful holidays have been when I have let go and allowed God to make it whatever it’s going to be. Some years we have had zero presents under the tree, but we had a home-cooked meal and family movie time. In other years we have had presents under the tree and crushed, chaotic, entitled disappointment. I would rather have zero presents and peace in our home, than chaotic, crushed, entitlement any day of the year.
I love Christmas music. It gives me joy to bake holiday treats with my kids. But I will trade it all for everyday peace knowing my savior has already come. To every day be thankful for a baby named Jesus, sent to earth to die for our sins. I don’t want holiday peace, I want everyday peace. To remember every day the holy spirit lives inside of me and to choose to let him remove the chaos, discomfort, jealousy, and frustration inside of me. To embrace every day that he has given us the ability to be still and to know-that-I-know-that-I-know, he is God. He is Emmanuel. No matter what happens during the holidays or whatever comes up this year, my God is able! He is the I Am! And I will say blessed be the name of the Lord. Today and tomorrow, that is what I want.