Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas is over....

Christmas is over and I woke up wondering what it was all about. It seems like any old ordinary day today, except that I will be heading to the stores this afternoon for the sales to buy next years wrapping paper etc. All the decorating, all the shopping, all the busy-ness and in one day its over. If I had my way, I would just take down all the decorations and get the house back to normal. I loved watching the babies open presents and see the smiles on every one's faces when they got things they wanted. The holiday goodies make me long for going back to my healthy eating. Hard to pass up the cookies but sugar never makes me feel as good as say carrot juice.
Christ somehow gets lost behind wrapping paper and bows. The manger scene never seems to take front stage as much as greenery and bows. Jingle bells raise our mood more than does the song, O Holy Night. I think this morning I just feel like I got it wrong. Missed the point. Answered some big question wrong or something like that. Adults often comment that Christmas isn't as much fun as when they were kids. You know, no toys to play with on Christmas day, no belief in Santa. But now I am wondering if we just miss the whole point as adults and then feel a longing for what Christmas is all about. I think that is part of it for me. I wanted to listen to music this morning that would draw me closer to Christ, lead me to a place where I felt a deeper call to be more loving, more compassionate, more dedicated to living a life for others and not just out for this or that thing, or more stuff or trying to puff myself up so I look better on the man made scale of success.
The way I feel is hard to define in a few sentences, mostly because I am not sure just how I feel, but there is an emptiness from the holiday as deep as the discarded boxes that the presents came in.
I needed to have connected to the holiness of the day and I didn't. Yes, I know its not really the birthday of Jesus, but a date is not what I celebrate anyway, its an event. And frankly I got so caught up in the red and green, the holly and the ivy, the evergreen and the red candles that I didn't spend time contemplating how a baby born in a stable, changed the world. Sure, I can do this kind of thinking today, but that doesn't erase the fact that I spent a good part of a month, missing the point ! I am not beating myself up over it, but simply facing a fact of where my thoughts have been.
I might have said the right little phases of the season and sent Christmas cards that focused on the real reason for the season, but I personally missed the depth that could have been experienced.
Good old Dr Phil is fond of saying, "You can't change what you don't acknowledge" which is a truth.
I am acknowledging, that I missed something this Christmas.


Blogger Lisa said...

My dh asked me yesterday if I was sad. We had decided to not buy each other anything and didn't buy any gifts for the children to give us either. I told him I wasn't sad, but maybe I was feeling like your post today describes. I did accomplish my goal of making Christmas less materialistic, less secular, but I failed to put more time and energy into focusing on Jesus. I want to continue my efforts to revamping our Christmas celebration but putting Jesus at the center will be my first priority.

I enjoyed the photos of your family's Christmas. I would love to have grandbabies celebrating with me. Maybe someday....

Friday, December 26, 2008  
Blogger Dana and Daisy said...

I'm sorry you feel this way. The expectation is there that if we do certain things, think certain things, focus on certain things, then we will find a deeper meaning in Christmas. But, there is another truth about expectations leading us to disappointment.

Maybe if we sit back and wait for Christ to show us His face, then be quiet and still, then He will appear.

Friday, December 26, 2008  
Blogger Patty said...

Hi Dana,
Its not that I feel I am missing out on knowing Jesus, just that I missed the opportunity to embrace what I feel is the real meaning of Christmas

Friday, December 26, 2008  
Blogger Williams Arena said...

One of the reasons I visit your blog is because you are honest. Thank you for opening up your heart and blessing me with your thoughts. Like you, I know in whom I believe, I do not struggle with that. I just struggle with whether nor not I live a life that is pleasing to God. At the end of my life, I want to hear the words "Well done my faithful servant."

As believers, sometimes it is hard to be honest and transparent because we are afraid of the criticism that might come our way.

Thank you for "keeping it real."

Friday, December 26, 2008  
Blogger Tatersmama said...

Oh hun, you said this beautifully... and I understand your feelings completely, because I felt the same thing.

Friday, December 26, 2008  
Blogger mary said...

I always feel a little let-down on the day after Christmas. The decorations now look dusty and tired. I feel a little dusty and tired :) I love that my Lord is the same today as He was yesterday. His love for me is not less today than yesterday. Really nothing has changed except my expectations. My joy is a choice, my love for Him is a choice, my desire for humble spirit is a choice.... Thank you for honestly expressing your feelings about the day. Your grandbabies are always so beautiful!

Friday, December 26, 2008  
Blogger Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Hi Patty, Don't be too hard on yourself. I think when you were decorating and wrapping presents it was to bring joy and happiness to others, and that is the spirit of Christmas, I think. My adopted father died when I was in kindergarten and the next Christmas, I watched my mother and grandfather decorate our tree. I realized there was no Santa Claus. My mother said, "God is Love, and love is what makes all these things happen." I still remember this.

Friday, December 26, 2008  
Blogger Lynn Dykstra said...

Interesting post--I have found in the last years that I am an Advent and Lent person. I focus on the journey of the season, and not on the destination of Christmas and Easter. I still enjoy those days, but the Advent and Lenten tasks/joys I give myself are what give the most meaning to me.

Friday, December 26, 2008  
Blogger Julze said...

(((HUGS))) Patty...May the Lord lead you into a deeper place with Him.

Friday, December 26, 2008  
Blogger Patty said...

i think somehow my thoughts came across wrong to some. Its not that I don't feel close to God, I do and have a personal relationship with the Lord, its just that Christmas this year was more red and green than it normally is for me...I forgot to attatch to it, all the holiness it deserves.

Friday, December 26, 2008  
Blogger sulli said...

Here is a line you wrote in the previous post before this one...

"I feel so blessed to be surrounded by friends and family at this time"

Sounds to me like you got it...

Saturday, December 27, 2008  
Blogger Bettina said...

Long - probably lost- comment short:

I think, Christmas can be about feeling the distance. It is a time for re-adjustment. It is the time, where the tree is the "tree of life", the ancient axis of both, earth and paradise, connecting heaven and earth. Same as the cradle, same as the cross.

Feeling that distance, it might be a good idea to look onto the old christmas of the twelve days til epiphany and further onto candlemas, for christmas in the old sense isn't over yet, it has only just begun. And it's more a journey than a "KAWHOOM - Now I am in the mood and spirit" moment.

Merry Christmas, Patty & All!

Saturday, December 27, 2008  
Blogger Julze said...

Patty, I know you are close to the Lord's Heart...he is always drawing us into a closer place with Him (well, that's been my experience, any way)..I hope you didn't think I was meaning you don't have a deep relationship with Him, because that is not what I was meaning.

Saturday, December 27, 2008  
Blogger Anita said...

Thank you for your honest post. Try having christmas without a tree, decorations and presents. And just purely celebrate the birth and life of Christ with those dearest to you. I tell you, it sheds a whole new meaning on the whole season.
Unfortunately it is very hard to do this with the pressures of society and family, but doing it even just once will make a big difference to the way you approach christmas the next year. Trust me LOL

Sunday, December 28, 2008  
Blogger Kim said...

We bought less items for the teens this year. And my parents didn't want gifts. They have too much they say. Well the siblings didn't listen to their wishes and caused some tension in the morning. We didn't listen either but said that their gift would be 2 dinners. out with all of us where ever they choose and one here at my house with just them and us.
My mother in law and I both chronilogical Bibles which I for one am looking forward to start New Years Day, and we got both teens new bibles The Teen Study Bible.
I think that when there are little ones, we tend to focus more on the red and green of the season but as they get older ( like mine) though we have 2 beautiful trees up the Nativity was more the focal point of celebration. This was the first year I forgot the advent wreath and heard about it. It seems they MISSED the weekly lighting of the candle and the passages read. Who knew?
Wishing you and your family a Happy and Healthy New Year in 2009. May your sorrows be small and your blessing many.

Sunday, December 28, 2008  
Blogger Patty said...

Hi Anita,
We did that for many years, the entire time we were part of the mennonite community.

Sunday, December 28, 2008  

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