My Grown-Up Christmas List
Merry Christmas ya’ll! In our blog this month, I was going to talk about the holidays and air bnbs. Encouraging you to support local and be safe as you travel this winter. To touch briefly on where you plan on staying this Christmas. But as I started to type, my heart took a very unexpected turn and I hope you will allow me to share with you.
It truly is one of the most wonderful times of the year. I’m not sure what it is about Christmas, but most seem to be in a jollier mood and we all just breathe a little easier (crazy Christmas shopping aside of course). I see some of the kindness of humanity making a comeback. Christmas is a time of reflection, remembering loved ones and all around merriment. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of this holiday season, I think it can be all too easy to miss the core of this holiday. The why of this season. I know I’ve gotten sidetracked! I’ve been focused on gifts. Gifts are so fun, both giving and receiving! Christmas eve stockings? Ummm, yes please! I can’t wait for my husband to open a specific gift I hope he’ll chuckle at. Selfishly I’ve also had my eye on an exercise bike, a purse, a professional massage, funny fuzzy socks and some airpods for my workouts.
My list may be a tad long for a 30 something year-old, but here’s the rest of it. This season, I would like all the hot cocoa with extra marshmallows. Give me Home Alone on the screen with the glow of the Christmas tree snuggled up with my main squeeze. Extra FaceTime calls with my Texan parents and new niece in Oregon. Give me EVERY.SINGLE. CHRISTMAS. STATION on Pandora and Spotify. Yes, even you Mariah Carey Give me the Christmas parties with friends! Give me the security of HOME. But most importantly, give me Jesus. WHOA Jess, whatcha doing? Wait, just hang with me a little longer.
All of the beautiful and ugly parts of my life are not possible without Christ, even when I wander. The true reason for this Christmas season. The true giver of joy and hope and peace and love. My HOME. Our center, our reason for living, our reason for existing! And that is fun! Between social media, the adorable Christmas commercials with the snowman, and poignantly placed ads that beg you to buy, buy, buy; it’s all too easy to let that be our focus.
Seeing your loved one’s reaction as they open a gift you gave is priceless. But what’s even more priceless is receiving the free gift of Christ. His love poured out for us. Those Christmas classics we hear? They were based on the birth of Jesus. A few years ago, Pentatonix released a new rendition of Mary Did You Know and The Little Drummer Boy. My first time hearing, I was floored and blown away by the creativity and freshness of songs I grew up singing, hymnal style. And as I had these songs on repeat, my heart began to soften and I began to listen. These songs are riddled with HOPE and PROMISE! They speak of deliverance and invite us to come wherever we are, just as we are. This Christmas season, maybe life is finally where you’ve dreamed it to be. Maybe this season, your heart is hurting and shattered. Maybe you’re somewhere in between joy and grief. Maybe, like me, you’ve gotten caught up in the whirlwind of life and have lost your focus. Your true north. Wherever you are, I want to encourage you. This Christmas, I want to encourage you take time to remember, rejoice and come as you are. Our circumstances, big or small, painful or joyous, are part of our life’s journey. That journey that is messy and hard yet full of purpose. I want to speak hope to you through the power of that little baby in the manager who grew up to be the Great I Am. It is not just a story. It is truth. It’s pure joy that is not based on our circumstances. You are not alone. There is a magnificent, glorious and wonderful gift this season that is for all of us, our perfect peace. Just accept the gift. Merry Christmas my friends.