Have you ever felt like your Christmas has failed?
Come on,…everyone has the tale of THE worst Christmas season ever!!!
For myself the Christmas season has always come from a different perspective, especially since my husband has always worked in retail, which is a sub-culture in of itself where holidays are concerned.
Funny story about when my older guys were very little and I was speaking to an acquaintance about not seeing my husband from mid October to mid February, and she sympathetically lamented, “Oh,…he must be in the military.”
“No,” I replied, “He’s in retail.”
Thus sending out hearts and hugs to retail families,…it’s tough during the holiday season,…we know,…we’ve been there,…hugs,…hugs,…hugs!!!
Experiencing loss: loved ones, jobs, disappointments can add to Christmas stress. Grief is a subject in of itself,…my Daddy made a big deal of Christmas,…and I sure do miss him!!! Also money worries can be pressing when one can feel pressed to spend,…and spend,…and spend in a seeming never ending holiday cycle. Sickness doesn’t stop for the holidays, serious and otherwise,…we’ve all had that Christmas with the sniffles, or even worse holding a loved ones hands during a more serious doctor’s appointment.
Interpersonal relationships, especially familial, for you know everyone’s got those darling dears in their outlying family who seemingly love try everyone’s patience, should be proof enough we live in a fallen world!!! If that doesn’t convince you,…just turn on the news,…no one seems to be getting along these days.
And then there is Autism.
Boy,…oh boy were those early Christmases tough to take. EVERYTHING was soooo confusing. Hello,…when a child is not excited about gifts and toys and sparking ornaments,…and joy,…joy,…joy,…where do you turn?
Not that there wasn’t joy,…it just took a while to recognize it.
You see the gift of Autism is that it pares down life to the bare essentials.
I love you.
You love me.
And what else is really important?
Did Christmas really HAVE to look like I thought it should look? Did traditions really matter? Did one really need a Christmas tree,…cookies,…caroling,…and even gifts to celebrate?
Christmas arrives December 25th,…presents or no presents,…joy or no joy,…laughter or tears,…grief or healing,…reconciliation or not,…you get the gist. No matter what Christmas comes,…the miracle,…the great joy,…and, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” – Luke 2:14
Peace on earth?
“The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:5-7
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
The world will alway try to steal your peace usually by setting you to live up to unreachable expectations. Think just about any Christmas commercial on television! Seriously what percentage of Christmas cookies made EVER look like those professionally perfect ones on Pinterest from the seemingly stay-at-home mom, who secretly has a degree in design? Not that our wonky ones don’t taste good,…but those unreachable expectations which we are bombarded with, especially on social media are always out there ready to embroider: FAIL, FAIL, FAIL,…onto your Christmas stocking.
The Good News,…the real meaning of Christmas NEVER fails.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
God is gracious,…so very gracious to the world,…and to us.
This is our eighth Christmas with our little guy. Therapy works, thus he’s come a long way from those very confusing Christmases where everything seems upside down. NEVER, EVER, EVER give up hope,…those Christmases taught us,…traditional traditions don’t make Christmas,…Christmas.
Hello, we ready knew that fact in our heads,…everyone does,…we’ve all seen the Grinch Stole Christmas a zillion times,…but for the first time we learned it in our hearts.
Autism can’t stop Christmas.
Nor sickness, or grief,…or disappointment,…the list goes on to infinity,..for NOTHING can stop the miracle of Jesus Christ’s birth.
And that alone is cause enough to celebrate!
MERRY CHRISTMAS from our family to yours!
May you truly know the ‘peace of God that transcends all understanding’ – this Christmas season!!!