Christmas is such a special time of year. It’s full of joy and promise, excitement and activity. It’s a time for family and friends, laughter and songs, memories and giving. It represents everything good. Have you ever felt like the holiday season never goes as planned? This could be a phenomenon that is unique to my house, but I don’t think so. It seems like Christmas should be perfect.
The weather should be white, the friends and family happy, the presents perfect for each loved one and the dinner meal a feast for the record books. It seldom works out as planned.
It seems as though someone in the house is sick. I don’t mean the sniffles. I mean a fever and throwing up kind of sick. The baking is not finished or fabulous. The meal is frantic and the presents fail to elicit the excitement intended.
Once again Christmas will not resemble a hallmark commercial.
With this revelation comes the guilt and disappointment that follows. Is this just the result of the commercialization of the holiday season or is it something more?
Do we feel like there should be something more because there is? Is this longing for our eternal home even stronger during the holidays? Do we feel a need for everything to be perfect because we were made for perfection? We were made to live in paradise, not this world. We were made for something so much better. Perhaps with the holiday of Christmas the longing becomes more intense because it is the birth of our Savior. This time of year brings us into a longing for the perfect life we were designed for. We become more aware that this is not our home.
Perhaps this year when the bread fails to rise and the turkey is dry; when the kids fight over the same toy and family members continue to argue we can take a moment to remember that Jesus came into this world as a baby.
The circumstances of his birth were not perfect by human standards. He was born in a stable and his parents had no wealth or position. He grew up in Nazareth, which could be described as the ghetto. He had family that didn’t understand him, people who expected someone different and a friend who betrayed him. He was tortured and died a criminal’s death. His story is far from perfect by our standards. We have to learn to look at our lives with eternal eyes instead of temporal ones.
Maybe Christmas on this earth was never supposed to be perfect. Maybe that was the point. Would we long for our eternal home if this one was perfect?