Saturday, December 4, 2010
My youngest progeny is turning seven. She’s having a great time with it. One of her favorite gifts so far is an Elvis Jukebox ornament that plays the first section of “Blue Christmas.” We’ve been listening to it all morning. All. Morning. I will officially be sick of it in about fifteen seconds from now...
Yep. I'm there.
This daughter was our “Christmas Baby.” She is a kid's kid. She loves to play. She has a great nature about her. She likes to joke and have fun. She forgives quickly and loves to give hugs. She's really a joy to be around, unless you’re trying to brush her hair when it’s all tangled and messed up. This is when she turns into an irrational and whiny shadow of her former kinder, gentler self.
She’s got a lot of kid time left, and I treasure every minute of it, but we understand the reality that when this child leaves her childhood behind, our whole household leaves it behind (Until grand-kids, that is. Yikes.). She’s the end of the line. Which is bittersweet.
That word, “bittersweet,” really describes how I’m feeling lately.
I’m not having a blue Christmas, but I am having a bittersweet one so far. It’s like a birthday where too many people at the party are hurting and having a hard time. You want to have fun, but the mood isn’t right. As Dickens said, Christmas is a time “when want is more keenly felt.” I deal with a lot of hurting people, and it just gets to me sometimes.
I’m working hard, for myself and my church, to remember the holiness of this Holy Day and the season that leads up to it. What really sets it apart isn’t all the stuff we hang on it, like cheap ornaments on a beautiful tree. What really sets it apart, makes it holy, is what God has done in Christ.
I actually enjoy a lot of the kitschy elements of Christmas time. I like the lights and the gifts, the TV specials and the songs and the whole thing. Still, because I’m tired and worn, there are times when the whole thing seems tired and worn. And I don’t blame the kitsch. I know it’s my heart that is the issue. How I feel during the holidays is usually about how I feel going into them. All that’s happening is that my heart is being exposed to me. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
A bittersweet Christmas can be good for the soul. When I feel this way, I find myself a little more sensitive to the people around me who are hurting. And it helps me to remember that, while the kitsch is fun, it’s not the point.
As always, with all things, at all times: Jesus is the point.
Peace to you.
© LW Publishing 2010