Something is amiss.
At this time of year, I am full of joy and excitement at the holiday season. The lights, the giving, the different attitude of people…
Not this year.
I truly love the holiday season.
Not for the gifts, but for the opportunity to bless people. Give and open up our home to just love on others.
I decorate the inside of the house with lights and decorations. I’m excited to bake and give gifts to neighbors. Chex Mix and something else is always on the menu. Haven’t heard a complaint yet, so Chex Mix is always a winner!
There is an expectation for me that the season will be full of love and joy and peace.
I realize it’s not that way for everyone. The holidays can be a trying time due to grief, loss or another major life challenge. I get that. I understand that.
No one has to like it like me, is what I thought. But, the season is about giving for me. It’s a reflection of how God gave his only son, Jesus, to the world so we might be saved.
And saved me He did. I know what a life I could have had if it weren’t for Jesus.
I’ve got to tell you…I am in a funk.
Ever feel like no matter how good life is that something just feels off? You should be happy, but something inside is saying no. No. Definitely not. Ain’t happening. Forget that, child. Bury your head in the sand because….just no!
That’s how this holiday season has felt.
Really, it started toward the end of summer. I know. The end of August is not the Christmas season. But, during a conversation I was having with God – yes, I have those – I felt like He was telling me this year was going to be different.
Different? Well, yeah, God. Every year is different!!
After getting over my irreverent sarcastic response to God – He forgave me – that feeling grew stronger.
What did that mean? The holidays would be different how?
I pondered this for a bit and then promptly forgot it. On purpose. I didn’t like that notion. I wanted the holidays to always be joyful and giving and full of love. Call it child-like faith or naivete. Holidays bring people together.
But, did being different mean we wouldn’t be together?
As parents age or loved ones battle sickness and disease, time becomes a luxury. Life changes at home force new ways of thinking and discovery of new identities.
Therein lies the different.
Thanksgiving this year was different. As Christmas draws near, I didn’t want it to be different. I wanted to shake this feeling. I wanted to decorate my house with music blaring, Chex Mix baking and joy in my heart. But, I wasn’t feeling it.
So Christmas shopping I went. I love giving gifts, so surely that would help me rediscover the magic, right? Nope.
No magic, just a revelation.
My funk is a mourning of sorts. Mourning the changes of life now and yet to come. Mourning that my life as I knew it last Christmas is gone. Mourning my identity now versus last Christmas and next Christmas.
Is that strange? Mourning the “death” of my old life? Feels weird typing it, but I don’t know how else to explain it. That’s my funk.
These holidays will be different. I’m still hoping for different in a good way. But, if not, well, I’ll have to remind myself of the reason I fell in love with the holidays in the first place.
For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Will I get out of my funk in time for Christmas? Time will tell. In the meantime, does anyone know where I put the red garland?