What is your most memorable Christmas ever?
The last few weeks of December 1991 loomed before me.
An upcoming Christmas band concert. A Music Theory exam. A Twenty-page college paper. Two chapters of reading in Psychology. Two young boys to chase around in my nanny job.
Life was overly full. There was not enough time in the day to do what needed to be done.
There was also zero money to decorate my apartment, buy myself delectable Christmas goodies, or even shop for my loved ones.
I was tired . . . and stressed.
It was the sparsest, most drearily-decorated Christmas ever—except in one way.
My new boyfriend and I had just established a relationship a few weeks back.
And as the sun set early in our Michigan landscape, he presented me with a small present—a 1994 Integrity Christmas instrumental tape.
Walking hand in hand down the college’s snowy sidewalk, we each donned a wired earphone to my Walkman (hello 90’s!) and listened to the soft music amidst gigantic snowflakes fluttering to the ground. The moon cast a white light while headlights strobed past us. And despite not doing much else to make it feel like Christmas, I floated along as if I were in heaven.
But, it’s not 1991 anymore. And honestly, 2022 has been a trying year.
For a myriad of reasons, I decided to go minimalistic in my decorations, events, and activities.
And yet, I am allowing a few things to speak of the season.
My son asked for Christmas cookies, and I happily made them for him. A dear older man gave me a piney Christmas wreath that hangs beautifully on my red door. My precious hubby bought me a Christmas towel for my wall oven. The Christmas tree will eventually sparkle in the living room.
But other than that, Christmas will be in my heart—celebrated around friends and family. I have decided that simplicity best fits the season this year.
One tradition from childhood I momentarily let go was making a holiday paper advent chain.
Instead, I am hiding the countdown to Christmas day in my heart.
I am taking daily communion in the wee hours of my quiet house and writing a short confession of hope for those who can’t seem to find peace despite tidings of great joy.
Because, let’s face it—life can be hard.
And so, my friend, where are you emotionally this season?
Are you grieving a loved one right now? Are you fearful that you’ll never be able to pay the bills? Are you just tired and weary from a difficult year?
Have you lost your Christmas spirit?
Maybe I'll just ask. Secretly, are you dreading Christmas?
May these next 25 days of Christmas confessions bring expectancy that float down upon your soul like the snowflakes of that beautiful, yet simple, Christmas night.
Look for a daily passage of scripture and confessions which I will post on Facebook, Instagram, and here on my blog. These are the personal passages that have given me surges of hope this past year. I pray they remind you of the peace, joy, and hope you already have in Christ!
Oh, and by the way, remember that new boyfriend who bought me that Christmas tape? I still have that tape. In fact, I played it while my family decorated cookies this past weekend. And I still have my wonderful boyfriend. He’s now a treasured husband—my biggest blessing ever—who faithfully walks hand-in-hand through life with me!
And as for you and me, as friends, let’s walk hand-in-hand through this season, shall we?
For there is always great hope!
*Do you know someone going through a hard time this season? Give them the gift of encouragement and share this post with them! Also, feel free to subscribe to my blog at the top of my homepage. Thanks, friends!
December 25 — Coming Soon