Christmas has always been my favorite season…there is nostalgia—magic even—in the lights, decorations, music, and traditions. Family gathers for special get-togethers, winter treats are made and devoured almost instantaneously, and there is always extra time off from work to spend with loved ones.
My usual Christmas season itinerary is nothing short of spectacular, including, but not limited to driving through festive neighborhoods of Christmas lights, family parties, and a Christmas eve candlelight service featuring the vocal styling of my beloved father. Christmas morning—the highlight of the holiday season—includes waking up in my childhood room to the smell of fresh coffee brewing and my mother’s delicious egg casserole cooking in the oven. No amount of money could ever persuade me to miss these cherished holiday traditions.
However, that’s exactly what happened last year when I found myself far from home and the traditions that I hold so dear. The Christmas season of 2014 saw no leisurely nights spent driving through festively lit neighborhoods, no family parties, and no Christmas Eve candlelight service. I did not wake up warm and toasty in my childhood room, or to the smell coffee brewing and egg casserole in the oven. In fact, the only smell registering in my nose last Christmas morning was the unique, bleached sent of a recently cleaned, empty airport terminal.
It’s easy for many of us to look at this scene and relate. Christmas doesn’t have to be your favorite time of year for you to find yourself dealing with an extra strong case of homesickness, searching for the same holiday cheer that did not seem so hard to find in the past.
Perhaps sometimes you, like me, find yourself forgetting the “reason for the season”.
Last year I forgot one crucial fact: Christmas is not about me. Christmas isn’t about my comfort or packed holiday agenda, it’s not about the lights I see, the decorations I display, or the songs I sing. No, Christmas is about remembering my Savior who came over 2,000 years ago to offer the gift of grace, forgiveness and hope.
The antidote to our Christmas blues is actually Christmas itself. Because Christmas happened we have forgiveness. Because Christmas happened we have hope in a future in Heaven. Because Christmas happened we have a Savior who is always with us. We don’t have to feel lonely this holiday season, because over 2,000 years ago a small baby was born in a feeding trough, coming as the hope of the world.
Sometimes our becoming journey takes us away from our loved ones and we find ourselves spending the holidays far from the home we know and love. You know what’s great though? God never leaves us during the process! This year if you feel the holiday blues hitting you, remember that you have the best holiday company with you—the reason for the season lives in you and is with you always—Jesus!
“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.'” Matthew 1:23 (NLT)