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  • Writer's pictureCynthia Tucker Bain - Author

Expecting Christmas

I think the greatest disservice at the holidays is expectation. We expect holidays to be picture perfect. Decorations in place. Friends and family magically all getting along. There are no empty chairs or empty plates at our tables. The holiday spread looks like the cover of Cook’s Illustrated. Presents (lots of presents) wrapped to perfection. No presents still in the Wal-Mart bag tossed carelessly under the tree! Illness takes a vacation and leaves us all untouched. The smell of cookies fills the air. As long as we break all the cookies in half before eating them, the calories fall out and don’t make our bellies look like Santa’s. The lights on our pre-lit tree from last year still work like magic.

This insane list of expectations leads to loneliness, depression, and disappointment.

Life does not stop for the holidays, nor is it supposed to. Our hearts are supposed to pause in love and gratitude. At Christmas, not unlike any other day, we can't expect every detail to be perfect. We celebrate perfection we don’t create it. We celebrate Jesus.

I am not saying that Christmas is not worth the effort. What I am saying is that perhaps we need to re-examine what we are focusing on. The reason behind it all! I have found that any time I am less that joyous this time of year; it is due to me focusing on ALL THE THINGS instead of the ONE THING. Honestly, that can pertain to any day! If I am not happy, grateful, and joyous to simply be breathing (that’s a big deal if you have asthma) it is because I am focused on me. My feelings. My expectations. Period. A wise person once said, “Feelings are not facts.” Think about that for a minute. Feelings come and go. They change.

I really don’t think Jesus is at all upset if our tree looks like Charlie Brown’s or if we have a tree at all, especially if the tree is for any other reason than to honor and celebrate Him.

Some of us are dealing with big things and find it hard to do little more than remember to breathe, much less recreate a Hallmark Christmas.

That’s okay.

Just sit with Jesus. Breathe. That is PERFECTION.

Until Next Time,


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