Before I begin let me start by saying I sincerely hope all of my readers have had a very, happy, holy and blessed Christmas. My Christmas was actually, amazing this year. Now before you think this post will be just another post about how I spent time with loved ones, had wonderful gifts under the tree etc., stick with me and I think you’ll find this post is exactly the opposite.
As a matter of fact, this year, like too many in years past I was not with my extended family. We are a small family and they are all still living up in New Jersey. Finances keep us from going there and them from coming here so no, I was unable to be with loved ones.
As for gifts, there were none. Me and the Mr live on an extremely tight income and this year as in many years past there simply was not enough money to buy gifts. This month we are struggling to get food to last until the end. Gifts were definitely not an option this year.
And, there was no Christmas tree. Yes you read that right. No Christmas tree. Oh, not because we didn’t want to have one. In fact we have a beautiful six foot pre-lit tree but, my Mr had a temporary stimulator implanted in his spine 4 days before Christmas and he was unable to get it out. I was also unable to get it out because I am not strong enough so no, there was no tree this year. Some would conclude after reading this far, “wow, what a depressing Christmas”. Well it did begin that way.
Not only all of the above but at this time of year many of us miss loved ones who have gone on before us. I’m no different. I had my ‘usual breakdown’ a few days before Christmas. You know the kind where at the first note of a Christmas song the memories of childhood Christmas’s come flooding back as does the longing to go back. My most cherished memories of Christmas stopped when I was nine years old. Thats the year my father passed away. My mom then became the glue that held us all together small as we were. She was the heart of Christmas in our home. Well, she passed on eighteen years ago and Christmas has never been the same. I guess you could say I was getting pretty sad right up until Christmas eve.
And then suddenly, I no longer felt the sadness as deep as it had been weighing on me all week. I was actually, well, I felt happiness. Joy? Yeah, I was as shocked as you may be reading this. I mean how could I feel joy with so much sadness inside of me. But there it was.. Absolute joy. How did we spend our Christmas? Me and the Mr spent it in Church. We went to Christmas Eve Mass and then Christmas Day Mass. For the first time in all my forty-seven Christmas’s this was the first one that was ALL about Jesus. There was nothing else. No gifts, no tree, no extended family, no friends, Just us and Jesus and you know I realized Christmas day later on in the evening that I believe this is the best Christmas I have ever had.
And then something else hit me. Even on His birthday, the Child Jesus gave ME a present. He gave me Himself. He filled my spirit so much with Himself, His peace, His joy that I was the happiest on Christmas that I think I have ever been.
God, who loves us so much, who came down to us on Earth in the form of a helpless child to save us from ourselves on His birthday gave me a wondrous gift when it is I who should have been giving Him a gift. So friends, I have learned this year that Christmas does not have to include gifts, people (although that would be wonderful) or a tree with all it’s trimmings. All we need is Jesus. In Him lies the happiness we all seek.
Merry Christmas everyone and may the joy and happiness of the Christ Child fill your hearts this Christmas Season and every day of your life.
Remember, Christmas doesn’t end on Christmas day, it’s just beginning! Christmas is a season that begins on the Lords birthday and ends on the Epiphany on January sixth. So celebrate the birth of our Lord and savior with joy and happiness in your heart! He is always with us even when we feel most alone.