Christmas decorating

ChristMAS or ChristMISS?

 I’ve  been giving some serious thought as to how I’ve celebrated Christmas in the past. How Christmas can almost become Christmiss.  Christmas can easily deteriorate into only a list of things to do, cookies to bake and parties to attend.

How can we be sure we don’t miss Christmas?

· Lesson One: 

  • Avoid exposure to the “scrooges”. (Thank goodness I can.) I will smile as much as I can to everyone I meet. “Smiling is my favorite.” (from the movei, “Elf”)
  • I’ll say “Merry Christmas” and not “Happy Holidays” whenever I want because I have that choice and that freedom. However, my motives will not be political. I will respect other’s rights to say “Happy Holidays.” That is their choice and their freedom as well. Christmas shouldn’t be about making a point.

     Lesson Two:

  • I will allow myself to feel the excitement as the days count down, instead of the panic. (The anticipation of any event is half the fun anyway). I will anticipate the long hours in the kitchen baking cookies and making candy. I will gladly anticipate feeling tired and know I got that way doing the things I enjoy. I will look forward to the reading of the Christmas story on Christmas morning.
  • I will anticipate the looks on the faces of those for whom I’ve created some special gifts. I won’t pay heed to those who don’t get into the spirit of the event. I will focus on my own good time and those who are enjoying it as much as I do.

Lesson # Three:

  • I will remember that Christmas isn’t just about the gifts I give but also the gifts I’ve received. No, it’s not what you think. I’m talking about the gifts that have no price tag. Although I’ve certainly received plenty of those as well. 

I’m talking about the gifts of a loving husband, a wonderful family, good friends, shelter, and food.

I recently saw a movie that centered on the genocide taking place in Africa. I’d seen it before but it didn’t impact me the way it did this time. One scene in particular featured a child whose condition I can’t begin to describe. Words fail because they are just words.

As I sit here and write, my surroundings seem almost obscene. I’m not hungry or thirsty. I’m not sweltering in the heat or freezing from the cold. I have clothes on my back and shoes on my feet . I’m not worrying about whether I will eat today—or tomorrow. Whether I will have a glass of water to drink. As I sit here in my comfortable surroundings I wonder if I’m doing enough to relieve suffering in my own part of the world. I’m worried that maybe I’m not. I’ve been “gifted” way beyond what I deserve.

Lesson four:

I will embrace my gifts as they are meant to be appreciated. I won’t cheapen what God has blessed me with anything less than heartfelt gratitude. It does no one any good. Besides grateful people are generous people. Unappreciative people are not.

Pile of gorgeous gifts
Pile of gorgeous gifts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This blog is a gift-from me to you. Freedom from depression has been a gift I certainly never thoughtwould  open. Christmas can trigger depression for a lot of people…the stress, family complications, financial issues. The yearning for the perfect Christmas and the reality of anything but. We get tired. We obsess over unimportant details.

I live in Michigan and the days are getting shorter.  It’s almost dark at 5:30!  December twenty-first is the shortest day of the year (meaning the least amount of daylight). But the very next day, it stays lighter longer.

Depression is like that. Our darkest day can be followed by a brighter one if we’ll just hang in there.

If you are struggling with depression right now, open the gift that is waiting for you. The miracle of Christmas is much more than a physical birth-it is spiritual re-birth. It is a gift to the world to be unwrapped by each of us. It is a gift unique to each of us. We can even refuse it but why would anyone refuse a free gift? 

I used to think we all had to unwrap this gift the same way. That we all had to use the gift the same way. I don’t believe that anymore. That’s the miracle of Christmas….

 That LOVE reached down to each unique one of us. 

I truly hope each of you reading this post finds what you need in the miracle that is Christmas.

No matter what happens, we can find a degree of healing through the gift of love awaiting each of us.

God bless you and I hope you have a good day.