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The Perfect Christmas

December 17, 2016

I want a perfect Christmas – The perfect Christmas!

So I look at the adverts. Well, really it’s very hard to miss them. I see the perfect Christmas involves mountains of food and being surrounded by loving family. I see smiles, and joy, and even the long running feuds are dissolved in the good cheer. I confess, it is so attractive. I do want perfection here on earth. Even one day would be amazing. But somehow it all seems hollow.

I start feeling like the Grinch or Scrooge. I think back and I remember the real Christmases. They were good, but they were not perfect. They were not peace on earth and joy to all. I feel all the pressure to buy (I’ve just escaped from Amazon to write this). I feel the pressure and I just want to cry. I want to weep for my lost innocence. I want a perfect Christmas. I want love, joy, peace, kindness and generosity.

The crying takes me to the supermarket and the harassed mother that I saw last night; with so much to get, and a little one who was tired. They both looked tired, and to make it worse the baby was crying, then screaming. Poor mother, poor child, but there was nothing much that I, or anyone, could do, except not tut or complain. I smiled some sympathy, but I’ve no idea whether it did much to help. Then I moved on.

Hassled mother, and crying baby. Perhaps that is part of the Christmas story. Thinking back, I can’t remember a Bible story about Joseph dashing out to get that ‘special present’ before that first Christmas. I also am pretty sure that there was no feast, and that most family were far away or caught up with their own troubles.

So perhaps Christmas is for me, and all of us in this less than perfect world. Perhaps Christmas may bring hope for all, including those maxing out their credit cards, because, “What else can they do?” Perhaps, Christmas is for those far from family, adrift in a cold and uncaring world. Perhaps Christmas is even for a desperate couple like Mary and Joseph, and a crying baby Jesus. A small family far from home, thankful for space to sleep with the animals.

So perhaps Christmas is for me. When I let go of the need for all of that stuff; all of those “Christmas essentials”. Then I can filter out the canned Christmas songs in every shop. There is another sound hidden behind. There is a faint whisper of something more. The song of angels perhaps. Perhaps, the wings of a dove, as the true Spirit of Christmas descends on me once again. The Spirit that says “Peace”, and then gives me the ingredients for my perfect Christmas:

 God’s Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled (Galatians 5:22-23).

These are all the things being ‘sold’ to me in the adverts, but here they are a free gift. Here is the true generosity of Christmas, the gift of God himself, into this world, so that love, happiness, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control can be in the lives of all people, whether they or me, have a turkey, or a pudding, or a drink.

Now I can finish getting myself ready for my perfect Christmas, knowing that most of the work (all of the important work) is already done.

I’ve written this, so now I’m off to sit, and let the Spirit lift the stress in me. To let me smile, even laugh, as Christmas approaches. My lost innocence can return, it is a gift, the gift from a child who grew up.

God bless…

  1. jean black permalink

    we sometimes have to accept life the way it is and not the way we want it to be. Enjoy your christmas.

    • I agree, there are many of the physical things about this time of year that I can do little about. Thankfully, the Spirit gives me at least a fighting chance of not losing all the love, joy, peace etc. that really make Christmas special.

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