12.21.2017

My Christmas Wish

Christmas is just around the corner and I have been spending the Advent season trying to prepare...at least spiritually. In terms of baking cookies, etc. I feel I have flopped. There just isn't enough hours in the day to do all I want, or need, to do. And I know this struggle is not unique to me but at times I wonder if I am letting darling daughter down.

I can't help but spend some time reflecting on Christmas of the past. When I was a child. Setting up the tree with my family, my Dad putting up Christmas lights, baking cookies with my mom and sisters, or just eating the baking my mom worked hard to do on her own. The house smelled and looked like Christmas and I loved lying by the Christmas tree looking up at the lights and moving the figurines around in the manger. I wish I could go back there right now as that is not the Christmas of today.

But happy memories don't end there. Sometimes we went to my grandparents', sometimes we surprised them, and sometimes I got to see a white Christmas of Michigan versus the green Christmas of Texas. But regardless of where we were, the house always seemed full of family, laughter, fun...and yes, we bickered at times. When you get kids together they can bicker. Okay, the same is true of adults but it was good times. And those good times are not the Christmas of today.

Christmas Eve mass was our thing and we came home looking for Rudolph's shiny red nose, often spotted it, and my Dad bravely would go inside to ensure we didn't surprise Santa. Christmas Eve was a late night as we opened gifts and eventually fell asleep to play and enjoy our gifts more the following morning.

Later I got two Christmas celebrations as Christmas Eve was with some family and Christmas Day with others. I got two different feasts and two amazing days to cherish family and celebrate Jesus' birth. This is really cool when you look back on it but yet, that is not the Christmas of today.

Things these days are very different. The house is not full of family. There are no bickering kids but maybe a bickering hubby and daughter. And as much as I try to get the sights and smells of Christmas, sometimes I wonder if I am doing enough. A family of 3 separated from family by a huge vast ocean is not the same as a family of 5 where road trips were possible and airfare more affordable.

Since 1998, Christmas just hasn't been the same and I miss my extended family holidays. I miss my Dad and I know I will never be able to spend another Christmas with him but I would be over the top ecstatic to spend the holidays with family even if it included bickering. It isn't that I don't love my family of 3 but my heart yearns for more.

I know I can't make that happen in a few days but I am not giving up on my Christmas wish, my Christmas prayer, for a more joy-filled house that has less bickering, arguing, judging and more loving, accepting, listening. A more joy-filled heart for myself and that the burden of depression, anxiety, and financial stress and worry is lessened...or I am better armored to manage them. I want the true beauty of Christmas to radiate as much as that newborn babe radiated and the star shone so bright guiding the wise men. I want to feel a strong embrace of God's love and let go of the worries of this world. I want my faith to explode in growth and to just be at peace accepting God's love and not be drawn down by the secular world, unkind words, and unkind actions. I want the strength to not let those things hurt me and negatively impact me. I need God's strength and I believe in the magic of Christmas and that my prayers will come true.

Merry Christmas and if you are with extended family today, please give them an extra hug or kiss.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for happy Christmas memories.

Daily Bible Verse: We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:8-12

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