For Christmas Yule Need Some Tools
“There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.”~Erma Bombeck
When you’re a kid, Christmas is the Super Bowl, the Indy 500, the World Series, the pinnacle of the year. It’s pure adrenaline and it takes forever to arrive. Yep, it’s great being a kid at Christmas. Second best is having kids at Christmas, especially little ones. Especially freshly bathed ones in footed sleepers and fat diapers. Oh the joy!
Many of you are too young to remember best-selling author and newspaper columnist Erma Bombeck. Too bad, you’d have loved her. She was one funny lady. I miss her low brow wit. She could mine through the bland and ordinary days of family life and find big nuggets of hilarity in the humdrum. But Erma wasn’t just humorous, she had a deep grasp of human nature. It showed up in a column like her When God Created Mothers.
Over the years we’ll bump into seasons when the glitter has come off and the shine has tarnished. What if you had tools that would get you through the inevitable rough spots and would help intensify the high notes so you can hang onto the happy feelings longer. My one-two punch suggestions for that toolkit? Humor and faith.
Yule need some humor, the holidays are no laughing matter!
Unlike Hallmark movies which bear no resemblance to reality, our lives are messy and problems aren’t ironed out like last year’s ribbon in 90 minutes. Do we really think we could ever match up to that level of smiley cheesiness? Here on Planet Real, even on Christmas, people get kidney stones, dogs puke on beds, cats knock over the Christmas tree. A toilet overflows, flights are missed, the power goes out, we forget to turn on the oven or the turkey fryer erupts into a fireball.
But here’s the fun part. Incredibly, as time goes by, these “disasters” make for great stories and become almost legendary. They are the garnish and the sprinkles! We drag them out, embellish them and retell them for years to come! “Remember the year that…..”
Amazingly, we’ll find ourselves laughing about it all much sooner than seems possible in the stressful moment! Sooo, if that’s true, why not start giggling immediately instead of waiting? It’s perfect! After gorging on all those cookies, it’s great to know a 15-minute bout of genuine laughter burns up to 40 calories! So, don’t lose your sense of humor and never get your tinsel in a tangle. Remember, before you know it all of it will seem hilarious.
But Sometimes Yule Cry
There will be Christmases that are really tough. For me, it was 1967, the first one without our dad. I wrote about him last week. It’s hard to smile during those Christmases, let alone feel any joy. I understand. Do I have advice or a tool for the holidays when it seems like life as we know it is over? I do not. But I will tell you this. Over the years it does get easier somehow because that is the way humans are constructed. We get through it.
And, I do know this much. You will smile again and yes, you’ll laugh. I know what it is to feel weird and guilty about it. But here’s the deal. The best thing you can ever learn is that this too will pass and even though the changes are permanent, you’ll come out on the other side. And here’s why.
Jesus is the Reason for the Season
Sadly, those words have nearly become a trite little sound byte. We barely even hear it. Pity, because it’s the one true why behind all the festivities! The birth of Jesus is why we celebrate! He’s the reason for all we have come to expect of Christmas and “the holiday season” that’s the “hap-hap-happiest time of year!” (Even when it’s not.)
Jesus came quietly and humbly to save us from sin and give us everlasting life. Because of Him, we are citizens of heaven and for all this amazing world has to offer, it’s not our permanent home. We’re all on a journey through this life. Everything here is on loan, temporary, and we won’t take a single thing with us when our days are over except for love and the treasures of our heart. But those are things that will be with us for all eternity.
Regardless of your religious beliefs, there is much more to this world than what we see. Lean into your faith and spirituality this Christmas. The very best gifts are love, hope, forgiveness, and grace. Don’t get so wrapped up in the hustle and bustle that you forget the real meaning behind it all. Remember that the heart of Christmas is celebrating the blessing that Jesus brought.
“Don’t let the past steal your present. This is the message of Christmas: We are never alone.”~ Taylor Caldwell
I’d love to hear your Christmas stories! I’ll be back Monday with some thoughts on wrapping up the year and really beginning to see life with new eyes! I’ll see you then!