The Real Reason I Don’t Like Christmas

Okay, I might be the only one who thinks this…but I think the Christmas rush can be a good thing. You know—the rush to buy presents for my family and friends, the rush to watch every Christmas movie in our family’s stash, the rush to decorate my room with Christmas décor, and the rush to make cards and cookies. The rush to get it all over with.

I realize that most people hate the Christmas rush. They hate feeling stressed and overwhelmed. They hate the lines in the mall, the traffic, and the crowds.

I, on the other hand, love the Christmas rush because it helps me escape…but only for so long.

The Real Reason

I can try to escape by spending all my waking hours “doing” Christmas. I can try to hide by pouring myself into the gift-giving, cookie-baking, and movie-watching. I can try to distract myself by overcommitting.

Because, if I’m being honest, sometimes I don’t like Christmas.

I don’t like Christmas because it is a very emotional holiday for me. Not because I had a particularly difficult Christmas or because I don’t have anyone to celebrate with. With Christmas comes guilt, worry, and unpleasant reminiscence.

-I feel guilty about the sins I’m carrying in my life.

-I feel worried about what future Christmases will look like for me and my family.

-I feel unpleasantly reminiscent about past Christmases I had as a child and why my current Christmases are different.  

Why does everything have to be so different? Why can’t Christmas—and life in general—be like it was in my childhood? I have sweet memories of Christmas. My parents created wonderful traditions for me and my siblings that I can carry with me throughout life.

But, as a young adult, Christmas isn’t the same. Entering the Christmas season means I’ll be forced to face all of the difficult things that I don’t want to face. I don’t want to face my uncomfortable feelings…or my uncomfortable sin…or my uncomfortable guilt.

The Real Cure

Who knew Christmas could be so ugly? Why have I—and perhaps we—transformed a wonderful holiday into a dreadful time of year? Because we’re broken. And broken people can take anything that’s beautiful and turn it into something ugly.

Perhaps as a child, Christmas seemed practically perfect. Now, as young adults and older adults, Christmas may be confusing and challenging. But, just for a moment, ignore the uncomfortable worry, guilt, and fear. Without those things in your life, what is Christmas?

…behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:18-23 NASB)

Now bring back the uncomfortable guilt, worry, and fear. With those things in your life, what is Christmas?

…behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:18-23 NASB)

It’s the same. Because Christ is the same. God and His Word have not changed. 

No Matter What

No matter what your Christmas looks like this year—whether it’s happy, sad, frustrating, or exciting—Jesus is still Emmanuel. Jesus still came to save you. Jesus still wants you to be free from sin.

We shouldn’t brush guilt aside when it’s leading us to repentance or stop being reminiscent because it hurts a little. We can face these challenges knowing that Jesus came for our guilt, worry, and longing. This beautiful holiday, though we have made it a broken time of year, is redeemable. Because He redeemed us when He came to earth on Christmas.

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