December 03, 2010
I used to expect the holidays to be perfect - to be this ideal image of caroling, smiles, everyone and everything magically falling in to synchronized step... and every year the human element (flawed) of the holidays would break my heart.
parking spaces illusive,
...and the bruised heartstrings from family dynamics that just don't add up to a Christmas archetype.
Christmas rarely (if ever) looks - or feels put together 'perfectly' - like the cover of a magazine or the perfect scene on a greeting card.
Tears come on Christmas.
Pain comes on Christmas.
Last year, I got in really close with my camera - the tree (which represents the small cross we bear) and the problems all became the bokeh in the background of the image. The real focus of Christmas became clear through my lens. This child. This chance. This gift which eventually cost everything He had.
Christmas is not about perfection.
A stable full of animal stench is not perfection.
Labor and delivery pains are not 'comfortable' and smiles are saved for ONLY AFTER the contractions.
Christmas is about giving of yourself - of your life. Giving the gift you are given away.
The gift of forgiveness.
The gift of sacrifice.
The gift of a needed embrace - a shoulder to cry on...
Christmas is an IDEAL in the flesh... in the stench of human brokenness.
The 'holiday atmosphere' is all about what you focus on. How closely you have your eyes on the real meaning of the season..
... and whether you can take a deep breath while the world spins with glitter around you... and know that you are truly loved.
Then you can share that love with someone else.
That's where meaningful memories begin and broken expectations end.
*This post was a comment made on Blissfully Domestic's Hallmark Holiday Moments Giveaway. I figured it merited repeating since all holiday memories are made based upon how we perceive each moment we are blessed with. My prayer is that God can show us how to make the most of each second of this December, and to see through His eyes, the potential if only our attitude and heart are in the right place.
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