Here's my top 5 list of why this season is a snooze this year:
1 Possibly the biggest problem, besides my own lack of energy and enthusiasm, is that my kids are getting older. Although Eli is still enchanted with the season, Grace and Clare (especially Grace) are just no fun any more. They both figured out the whole Santa farce and so our days before Christmas are now just the same as any other except we have a lot more clutter around the house: lights, candles, figurines, chocolate Advent calendars.
2 All our family lives far, far away and Adam works on Christmas Eve so we won't be traveling. This means the meal and celebratory festivities that make Christmas great are all on me. I have to somehow muster up the energy and enthusiasm to actually provide a special meal on Christmas. This task is about as exciting for me as breaking down all the cardboard boxes from Amazon.
3 The third problem this year is that our traditions are pretty much set. I'm no longer inspired by mommy blogs to figure out what our family will do to make the season special. In fact, blog browsing only makes me feel even worse about how things are going this year. How those moms maintain such a high level of Christmas spirit is beyond me.
4 And then there is shopping. The stores are jammed packed with Christmas consumers who all seem to have purposeful plans while I wander around wishing I had actually brought a grocery list. We did all our shopping online this year and all our gifts are wrapped and ready to go (this was all because of Adam's get-up-and-go mentality which forced me to comply). Having all that done is great and would have been especially fantastic if I could focus on the pure joy of our dear Savior's birth, except, well, I'm not.
5 Technology is another problem. Who needs Christmas and the excitement of gifts and traditions when we are all perfectly content looking at a screen. What more do we need except food (and the sugar, butter, and salt laden food is readily available this time of year). What more could a person want than to be a slave to the desires of the body? Wow-how's that for cynicism?
I could probably write ten more reasons this season is so crummy this year, but it's probably evident that my bad attitude is the real problem. I'm not sure I can pull out of it this year, however, there is still the hope of next year. That's the nice thing about traditions and seasons, they come around again and we get another chance.
In the meantime, that little Baby King who is Hope itself has come, is coming and will come again. Even in the midst of my personal dark and clouded Christmas, His light still shines. He comes as a baby. He comes with new hope, new peace and new joy, way back then, every year and all the time.
~O come, O come, Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel~
That's me. I'm captive Israel. Jesus, save me from myself. -Amen