When I started to make the challenging transition from childhood to adulthood, I also started feeling angsty at Christmastime. I wanted Christmas to be a happy holiday, but that didn’t feel possible anymore. Nothing felt the same as it had felt when I was a little kid—giddy to buy gifts, make gifts, and (without a doubt) get gifts. What happened to all those Christmas feels that I had when I was a kid?
Those Christmas Feels
To be honest, it’s very easy for us (especially as women) to get wrapped up in our feels—especially at Christmastime. We watch Hallmark Christmas movies for the feels, not because the acting is stellar or because the plotlines are so original or because the dialogue is really clever. We just want to feel Christmassy—cozy, comfy, and warm inside. Isn’t that also why we drink hot chocolate with Christmas tree-shaped marshmallows, wear fuzzy red-and-green socks throughout December, and buy a new blanket every Christmas even though we already have way too many?
Simply put, women like to feel—to experience every Christmassy thing to the absolute max. To see the bright lights, hear the classic Christmas carols, smell the peppermint candles, taste the gingerbread cookies, and touch the cold winter snow.
But if we strip those things away, what are we left with? Arguably, something much more substantial— faith.
Without the Christmas Feels
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 NASB1995)
As I’ve written about many times on this blog, the Christian life is not and should not be mainly about our feelings. But somehow, in our attempt to experience coziness, comfort, and warmth (particularly at Christmastime), we’ve abandoned the true definition of faith—“the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (v. 1)—during a time that shouldn’t be based on our feelings at all.
Ultimately, we have to come to the place (both at Christmastime and year-round): I don’t have to feel this to know this, believe this, and celebrate this.
Unlike the feels that we get when we sip hot cocoa from a cute mug, snuggle in our warm socks and blankies, or watch cheesy actresses fall in love with even cheesier actors, our Christian faith has an unchanging foundation—built on Christ Himself, who entered our broken world on Christmas. So while I’m 100% ready to experience the cozy, comfy, and warm Christmas feels, I’m also ready to celebrate in spite of how I feel this Christmas. I hope you’ll join me.