Christmastime is here. That sentence makes me want to start singing that Charlie Brown song. I don't know if it's just me, but that song always sounded kind of depressing.
I'm trying to get in the Christmas spirit, and if you ask my husband (and the rest of my family for that matter), he would tell you that this is a big deal for me.
Well, we have our little Christmas tree up and decorated, Evie's brand new stocking is hung and a Christmas wreath is hanging on our door. I'm listening to my Christmastime! playlist on Spotify and have watched one Christmas movie so far.
Yet sadly, my Christmas spirit has been in low supply the past few years. No matter how hard I try, that jolly, warm and fuzzy feeling that only comes this time of year seems to be out of my reach. I'm having trouble focusing on the twinkly lights on our Christmas tree or the sweet, warm goodness of a hot cocoa or the joy of choosing meaningful gifts to give my loved ones or, most importantly of all, the real reason we celebrate Christmas. But I seem to have no trouble focusing on the insane amount of people out and about who are constantly invading my personal space or the stress of finding the perfect gift for someone I hardly know or how my husband has to work both Christmas Eve and Christmas this year or how we can't seem to take a decent Christmas photo (see below). When I start down this line of thinking, I'm left feeling empty and less than thrilled for the holidays.
But something is different this year. Actually, she's more like a someone. This is little Evie's first Christmas, and even though she is still too little to grasp what Christmas is, I want her first one to be worth remembering.
We got her a little present, and I cannot wait to give it to her. I just think of her little hands taking the gift, completely unaware of what it is, maybe tentatively touching and scratching the wrapping paper, her eyes going all wide and bright when I help her rip through to the gift within, and curiosity as she explores her new toy...and probably sticks it in her mouth. I am so excited, it's not even funny.
And just now while I'm writing this, the solution to my problem hits me in the face. I realize that when I look at Christmas through the eyes of others, when I desire to give others what I so cherish, all those holes in my holiday spirit are filled up.
And isn't this how it was meant to be all along? On that very first Christmas, wasn't it God who looked through our eyes and saw how much we needed such a special gift? Wasn't it God who desired to give to us what he so cherished so that we could be filled?
This is why we celebrate. This is why we do everything we do at Christmastime to feel full. Full of joy. Full of peace. Full of life, like all in the world is right and good.
Because God first did this for us, now we do it for each other.
I hope I can make this truth real this year. I hope I can take my eyes off of myself and my expectations. I hope I can focus instead on how I can bring joy to others. I'm pretty sure that if I do this, Christmas spirit will be bursting out of my fingers and toes.
And don't worry, we will nail this Christmas photo thing.