Christmas has been a little rough for me for the past several years.
I’m not sure, but I think it started with the loss of my oldest sister. She loved Christmas, although she got anxious about gift giving. She made the most delicious fudge, and we spent days together making goodies.
Another reason it was rough is because my kids grew up and lost the “magic” of Christmas, so it became like routine to me. Just going through the motions of celebrating.
A few years ago, we lost my brother-in-law way too soon and again, Christmas changed. We always looked forward to being with him and all the sudden, he wasn’t there…
Christmas had become a time of grief. My heart ached each year, and I began to buy gifts because I had to. There was no joy in it.
This year has been much the same. Little money to buy gifts. The busyness of the season and always being gone. Never getting to spend quality time with family because each one is somewhere different.
I have a dear friend battling cancer and she is fighting for her life.
This year, we also have the added grief of divorce in our family and my grandchildren will have to leave on Christmas afternoon to spend time with their Dad. Again, I had lost the joy of it all.
This past Wednesday, I had the privilege of watching my oldest granddaughter and her friends perform various Christmas songs for us. Each song mentioned Jesus and the real reason for the season. As I watched her sing, watched her face light up as she recited scripture of the Christmas story, listened as she loudly and proudly sang, “Go Tell It on the Mountain” at the top of her lungs, hearing them sing away in a manger and resting their sweet heads on their hands,… my heart began to melt. The joy began to return.
Why? Not because of a 3-year-old, but because of the God who used that 3-year-old to proclaim his message to me once again. “Perhaps Christmas you see, doesn’t come from a store. Perhaps Christmas means so much more.”
Today, if you are searching for that Christmas Joy, just remember the savior born in Bethlehem and the Joy he brings to the world and to your heart.