After the Party's Over
Tis the season to go crazy... Fa la la la la, la la la la...
This is a bizarre Christmas for me. Usually, I put my tree up right after Thanksgiving, and then I get to work on the annual Christmas newsletter. But this year, things feel a little out of whack. I only just got the tree up yesterday, and I'm fairly sure there will be no newsletter this year. Oh, and presents... Other than taking care of my teenage son, I haven't gotten anything else.
I don't mind telling you, I was feeling a bit inadequate. Was I just going to let the holiday slip by without celebrating? And then I read something on Facebook about a segment on the Today Show where one of the "experts" said this about Christmas: "I don't like the religion part. I think religion is what mucks the whole thing up." She followed that up with, "I want the green trees and it smells good and everyone's happy."
To be honest, I thought it was another instance of a prank story, something that someone made up and posted and spread like a virus. So I looked it up and was surprised to find out that it was no joke; it really happened.
It made me sad for the person who said it, but it also made me think about my own attitude. Because after the tree has turned brown, and the house smells like normal again, and the happy holiday facade has left the faces of the relatives you only see once a year... what's left? If all we hold dear about Christmas are the trappings, the parties, the outward display, then it really turns into a hollow celebration, doesn't it?
For me, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. It's also a time to celebrate the promise of what could be all year long. Think about it. Imagine if we all embraced the loving, giving spirit of Christmas, not just in the winter, or on December 25th, but all year long. How amazing that would be!
So I'm not worried about my tree anymore (which is covered with a hodgepodge of sentimental ornaments, none of which match). And I'm not worried about the Christmas card (because I will send something to all the people I love, even if it's after Christmas, to remind them how special they are). What I want to do, especially this year, is love God and meditate on how special and precious His Christmas gift is. Because, when the party's over, He's the one I'm going home with.
How about you? Have you found any special ways to keep the spirit of Christmas alive through out the year?
JENNIFER ALLEE believes the most important thing a woman can do is find her identity in God – a theme that carries throughout her novels. A professional writer for over twenty years, she's done extensive freelance work for Concordia Publishing House, including skits, Bible activity pages, and over 100 contributions to their popular My Devotions series. Her novels include The Love of His Brother (Five Star, 11/07), The Pastor’s Wife (Abingdon Press, 2/10), The Mother Road (Abingdon Press, 4/12) and the upcoming A Wild Goose Chase Christmas (Abingdon Press, 11/12). She's thrilled to be working on her first historical series with the amazing Lisa Karon Richardson. Diamond in the Rough is the first book in the Charm and Deceit series, to be released in 2013 by Whitaker House. And... as if that's not enough, her novella Comfort and Joy will appear in the Christmas anthology, Mistletoe Memories (Barbour, 9/13) She's a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, Christian Authors Network, and the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance.