Christmas is here. It’s only two weeks away.
If you are anything like me that statement gives you all sorts of feels. Good and bad.
There is something about Christmas that will always be sweet. The lights, the cookies, the parties; everything gets a little bit more exciting during the month of December. Things also get a really nostalgic during the Christmas season. We tend to think about all of the years before, the painful memories, the happy memories, the things we wish we could get back, and the things we are glad to be rid of. I can not tell you what I would give to go back to the Christmas when I was almost 9 years old. I vividly remember the snow outside, the fire crackling, my mug of hot chocolate, my family all around me, and that box wrapped under the tree that I knew held the doll I had been asking for for so long. But, I also vividly remember last Christmas, the first Christmas I had ever spent away from my home. A Christmas where my brand new town had been ravaged by the biggest fire in California history. A Christmas filled with tragedy, unfamiliarity, and the realization that my life would be different forever.
Last Christmas changed everything for me. It was this weird grinchy moment where I realized “Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
Not to get all cheesy and Charlie Brown on us here, but I think there is something to this that I never realized before last Christmas. To me, Christmas has always been about the birth of Jesus, my family, my church, and loving others, but I didn’t realize how much of what I loved about Christmas was rooted in routine and tradition. When that was all gone last year, I felt like Christmas just didn’t even happen.
The truth is Christmas did happen, and I missed out on a lot by being stubborn in what I thought it should look like. I realized a little bit too late that Christmas has to be about being grateful for where you are right now. Christmas has to be about finding joy in all of the little things whether or not they are the way they always have been. It has to be about capitalizing on the joy in your life even if there is an immense amount of tragedy going on around you.
When I think about why Jesus came in that manger so very long ago, it wasn’t so that we would have perfect Christmas celebrations with all of the people we love. It was so that we would have eternal life with Him. It was so that all of the pain and trials that we go through in this life would be worth it because He is our great reward. Christmas can be really really hard. Especially if you have lost loved ones or are simply away from the people you love. But this season is a chance to reflect on the greatest gift of all time. It’s an opportunity to embrace where we are in life, celebrate our little victories, and remember that we have eternal life, sealed in Jesus Christ because He chose to come to earth, as a baby, in a manger.
So. Here is my Christmas challenge to you. For the rest of the month:
1) Write down 3 things every day that you are grateful for. I guarantee you will see a change in your heart after doing this for a couple of days. I did.
2) Do something kind for somebody else at least once a day. So many people are in need this Christmas. Volunteer at your local church (I guarantee they need the help), shop the Christmas catalog from Samaritan’s purse (linked here), just simply call somebody you love and tell them why you love them. I promise this will make your Christmas sweeter.
3) And lastly, read your Bible. It’s so sweet to read through the book of Luke during the month of December. Just spend the time to focus on our Savior. Christmas is about more than the manger scene, its about the life lived as a sacrifice out of love. It’s about the most beautiful 33 years in history. Its about redemption, healing, truth, and eternal life.
So merry Christmas my friends. Let’s make this season beautiful.
Love love love you all!
Sarah Paige xoxo