It’s crazy to think that Christmas is fast approaching. Wasn’t it just Christmas 2017? In the busyness of Christmastime, I hope you find the time to read this post and think about the three fears most of us experience at Christmas:
Fear #1: You won’t get everything done in time.
I truly think this is the top fear people have at Christmastime. There are so many things to do in such a short amount of time. There are gifts to buy, cookies to make, decorations to put up, carols to sing, friends to visit, and parties to attend. The worries slowly creep into our hearts and minds…
What if I don’t get her the perfect gift this year? What if we don’t see them before Christmas Day? What if I can’t make it to the Christmas party at work? What if the tree doesn’t get decorated in time?
Suddenly, Christmas becomes more of a hassle than a holy day. Yes, this is a holy day—a day to celebrate Christ’s birth, not our agendas or activities. This is a day to remember Who came to earth to save us from our self-imposed destiny of hell. This is a day to thank Him for rescuing us.
So what will happen if you don’t get everything done by December 25th? It’ll be okay!
Your kids won’t dissolve if you don’t wrap all their gifts. Your friend won’t dissolve if you don’t bake her your famous Christmas sugar cookies. Your home won’t dissolve if you can’t use the hundred ornaments from the basement. Your boyfriend won’t dissolve if you can’t find him an absolutely perfect present.
Christmas will be here soon, whether we feel ready for it or not. But God was ready to send Christ to us on Christmas so that we could be saved eternally.
Fear #2: This Christmas won’t be as great as last Christmas (or another previous Christmas).
I understand if you worry about this because I worry about this, too. Maybe you’re doing something different this year, and you worry that it’ll ruin Christmas. Maybe you think this Christmas will be boring because you’ll be alone instead of with friends. Maybe you worry that Christmas will be stressful because your new in-laws will be visiting. Maybe you worry this Christmas will be miserable because your grandparents won’t be able to come.
The last couple Christmases have been very different for me. I’m no longer ecstatic about the gifts under the tree, the beautiful Christmas lights outside, or the big family dinner on Christmas Eve. Instead, Christmas feels rather melancholy because I miss my childhood when everything about Christmas excited me.
I still enjoy old traditions, like watching Christmas with the Kranks as a family and opening presents on Christmas morning. But I’ve grown up—and am still growing up—and am realizing the inconsistency of life. Even Christmastime reminds me of this inconsistency.
But I can hold on to the promise of Christ’s consistency.
Christmas will come, whether it is the same or different as it was before. But Christ is constant and will never change.
Fear #3: This Christmas won’t “feel” Christmassy.
Personally, I’m worried that Christmas won’t feel like Christmas and that I won’t have the Christmas spirit. What if I don’t enjoy watching Christmas movies, baking cookies, and buying presents? Those things should make me get into the Christmas spirit.
I’m planning to talk all about the issues surrounding the “Christmas spirit” in an upcoming post. For now, just remember that you don’t have to feel a certain way to celebrate Christmas. You just need to celebrate it! This might mean making Christmas cookies for a lonely neighbor, singing Christmas carols at a nursing home, sending a Christmas card to a sick relative, or attending the Christmas Eve service at your church. Even if you don’t feel like it.
Christmas will happen, whether it feels Christmassy or not. But God doesn’t ask us to feel a certain way; He asks us to follow Him, even during Christmastime.
The One Thing We Shouldn’t Fear
It really doesn’t make sense that we worry about Christmas. After all, the angel told Joseph, Mary, and the shepherds not to be afraid (Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:30; Luke 2:14).
And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” (Luke 2:13-15 NASB)
The shepherds went straight to see Jesus after the angels appeared to them. We need to go straight to Him, too.
Christmas should be fear-free! It only becomes fear-full when we focus on ourselves and what we can get out of it. Friends, if we focus on ourselves this Christmas, we will be disappointed either by our lack of readiness, the lack of consistency, or our lack of Christmas spirit. But if we focus on Christ this Christmas, we can’t help but celebrate.
Image credit: https://www1.cbn.com/boundaries-to-avoid-holiday-blues