When Christmas Isn’t Magical

At the risk of being called a Grinch, I have a confession to make. This Christmas hasn’t felt very magical. For quite a while, I didn’t even plan to put up a tree or decorate. If you can relate to this at all, please read on for some helpful thoughts.

For the past 21 years, our family Christmas has revolved around our children. We have fun traditions which have grown more elaborate as they get repeated year after year. The entire family has been involved in decorating the tree, we have decorated ginger bread houses that nobody ever intends to eat, we set out cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer and there was joy and anticipation that captivated the entire household. But this year is different. This year two of our three children have moved out and literally live on the other side of the continent. The house is very quiet. I mean no offense to my husband or 16-year-old son, but they look at Christmas very practically, logically – not magically. They don’t mind the decorations, but they probably wouldn’t care if I hadn’t decorated at all. I must give them credit – they did help. Hunter carried up the boxes and helped me put the tree together because I wasn’t tall enough to do it myself, and Bret helped me wrap garland on the entry way stairs. But, other than that, I did it myself … and it was sad. It was sad to separate out Brittany’s ornaments so she can have them for her tree. It was sad to set aside the extra stockings and not hang them by the fireplace. And … we don’t even have presents under the tree. This Christmas has lacked the secrets, surprises and wonder that I have so enjoyed for the past 21 years.

There are many other reasons that people find themselves sad over the holidays. Maybe you had a death in the family and you have very profound loneliness, maybe the stress is financial, maybe there are family tensions. The possibilities are endless, but the reality is that many of us are lonely for some reason or another. The Norman Rockwell version of Christmas can be an unrealistic expectation that leaves us feeling empty and sad.

Yesterday, I heard a song which helped knock me out of my sadness. I have heard this song before, but not with these lyrics. Here’s the link, please watch it:

My perspective has been wrong again. I have focused on the wrong thing. I defined the “magic of Christmas” as the fun family times, festivities and traditions instead of the truly magical miracle of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

There’s nothing wrong with family traditions, packages, Christmas trees, or lights but that’s not what Christmas is all about. How could I have forgotten? I am ashamed to say that I have been so focused on me that I have overlooked Jesus.

Sometimes all of us need to take a step back and make sure we are focusing on the right thing. Christmas is magical regardless of our circumstances – Christmas is magical because Jesus came to earth! Click To Tweet

I don’t mean to belittle your sorrow, loneliness or any difficulties that you may be going through. I know that emotions are real and sometimes life is just plain hard. But if we keep our focus right, it can change things!

May your Christmas be magical as your worship Jesus Christ!

    1. Thanks, Kristy. I’m praying for you. I’ll be up in your area for a speaking engagement next spring. I hope we can get together for coffee then. Merry Christmas!

  • Great reminder!!! I love the song because it so well says the real reason for Christmas. I know where you are coming from as the things of the life so easily take center stage instead of the Christ of Christmas.

    1. Thanks for your comment and all your love 🙂. I know you’re lonely and I pray for you! You are a blessing to so many people!

  • You are right on target, Meschelle. Christmas is a great opportunity to “LET” the world press us into its mold, if we “LET” it do so. Christmas is also a great opportunity to “keep our eyes fixed on Jesus” and talk about Him to others. Thanks for your excellent reminder.

  • Christmas can be a time if dred for many people, loss of family, financial struggles, or just past history. Keeping focus on the reason for the season can keep us focused on what’s truely important. The birth of our Lord Jesus and His saving grace. Keep the faith Meschell, it was nice to have met you.

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