It’s Christmas, well almost Christmas, It’s so exciting! Are you excited? I am! If you know me, I’ve been excited since about October, much to the annoyance of those around me. The lights, the cinnamon, the garlands, the tree, the markets and of course chocolate for breakfast (I wait all year for this to be acceptable)!
I know what your thinking, Christian blog and I haven’t mentioned the birth of Jesus yet, but if I’m honest, celebrating the birth of Jesus isn’t what got me excited in October… so I wanted to do a little digging, figure out what I should be leaning into at this time of year.
So In conclusion, Advent is about celebrating the birth of Jesus as well as waiting in expectancy and anticipation of Gods return.
But as I thought about this, expectations, they are a funny thing really. We set our own expectations, often unrealistic on ourselves, others and events like Christmas, New Years, our birthdays…….. I could go on. As I thought about it I EXPECT friends to understand how I’m feeling, even when I show no hint of how I feel or say anything to them about it.
I EXPECT myself to be able to get through any situation, in any time limit, without any circumstances getting in my way and have no feelings of tiredness or exhaustion and do it with a smile!
I EXPECT my Christmas to look like a channel 5 hallmark Christmas movie. You know the ones, the house is absolutely beautifully decorated, the kids play with each other and share with no arguing, the food is exceptional and no my pavlova has not collapsed, the family get along, no one has had too many glasses and sharing the family secrets that devastate at least one person, the smell of homemade cookies is filling the house, everyone looks perfect in hideous Christmas jumpers and we even get the gift from a loved one that we didn’t ask for and no one knew we wanted… HOORRAAHH!! And do not tell me, I’m the only one who watches those movies!
In reality, I started shopping in September this year and today (21st December) I’m not finished, my garland isn’t up and probably won’t make it up, we aren’t sure who is all coming for Christmas dinner, no food shopping has been done never mind food prep, presents are not all wrapped, I’m still carrying an extra 1.5 stones from pregnancy and I’ll be happy if Blair manages to get me a present that isn’t NEYO tickets, a cleaning manual, a pack of toothbrushes or a pack of batteries (all previous Christmas gifts).
It so happens this year a lot of my normal decor, organisation and general festive fun went out the window due to our new arrival, Jonah, and coordinating a compassion ministry event. And in my mind I know these are two great things but it did not stop me from having moments where I said (loudly and with a hint of unhappiness )… It doesn’t feel like Christmas!! Why? Why doesn’t it feel like Christmas? What does Christmas feel like?
This year I encourage you to throw expectations of Christmas out the window (or mind), feel the freedom of releasing yourself from a hallmark Christmas, enjoy the chaos and what our Christmas looks like this year. I know some of us are missing loved ones, mourning times and people past, thinking of places we can’t be but I say this Christmas, embrace it. Live it. Enjoy tv dinners, pjs, grumpy grannies, bizarre presents and remember this is where I am and I will celebrate.
You say, "Lyndsey why should I celebrate here?"
Advent is expectant of Gods return, celebrating He will come again but I’m suggesting, God is here right now, present and living. Let’s spend time with Him this Christmas, He gave us himself. That is something to enjoy this Christmas! We can talk with him, spend time with Him, grieve with Him, play games and be fiercely competitive with family, all with Him beside us, HE IS HERE.
The thing about expectations is that we set them so high, sometimes unrealistic, but Gods love cannot be set high enough. So ladies (and gents I think) as my daughter sings everyday, LET IT GO, those expectations of how Christmas should look, let them go. Enjoy your Christmas, however it may look and welcome God in (even when the Monopoly board gets thrown across the room).
Enjoy the holidays!
Thoughts, experiences, and encouragement from the ladies of Falkirk Vineyard.