I Love Jesus But I Hate Christmas

Yeah, that’s me as the Grinch. I know. It makes no sense to feel the way I do, but it’s been an especially hard year around my house and I’m just not feeling the spirit of the season the way I want to feel it. I mean, come on friends, Christmas is the commemoration of Christ’s birth—someone who did nothing but good in His lifetime. It’s about His spirit. His love—and the love of His Father for us.

Bah-frickin’-humbug.

It’s about Black Friday and extended credit. It’s about buying big-ticket items this single mom can’t afford for kids who don’t need squat. It’s about being politically correct and wishing people “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” even though it’s Christ we’re celebrating. So happy up, folks, to the spirit of guilt and greed. It’s about decorations and calories and countdown. It’s the advent of panic and pressure. It’s about a man in a red suit that lavishes rich kids with gifts galore while my kids (who’ve been good all year) open a new box containing old shoes.

Okay. Okay. I’m done. My rant is over and I beg you and Jesus to forgive me. I realize that I’m exceptionally blessed and I’m honestly grateful. It’s just that Christmas is hard for me because I can’t be as generous as my heart leads me to be. But then Christmas doesn’t come from the mall. Or Japan (or wherever they manufacture Play Stations and Nintendos). It’s supposed to come from our hearts. It’s supposed to make us feel closer, more hopeful, and above all—loved.

Do you feel loved? I hope so. And I hope that this season you won’t succumb to anybody jingling bells and half-off promises to get you to buy something you can’t afford or don’t need. Do you know what else I hope for you between now and December 25th?

  • I hope you’re swaddled in love
  • I hope you hear laughter, all kinds of laughter
  • I hope you create memory upon memory upon memory
  • I hope you catch a snowflake on your tongue
  • I hope you make a recipe that’s been in your family for years
  • I hope you get shivery cold and then warm up by a blazing fireplace
  • I hope you sip eggnog or hot cocoa or apple cider
  • I hope you write Christmas cards out by hand
  • I hope you crack the spine of a Bible to recount an ancient story
  • I hope you sing carols around a piano
  • I hope you at least make a brief appearance on Santa’s naughty list
  • I hope that your heart grows a couple of sizes but your waistline doesn’t
  • I hope you have your picture taken with Santa
  • I hope you experience the wonder of surprise
  • I hope you witness children reenacting the Nativity
  • I hope you drive around and marvel at Christmas lights
  • I hope the child in you emerges big-time
  • I hope you taste peppermint and chocolate
  • I hope while you’re waiting in a store line that you make friends with a stranger
  • I hope you dress up and take family photo
  • I hope you dress the dog up in red and green
  • I hope someone makes you a plate of homemade candy
  • I hope you find time to pray
  • I hope you gather ‘round a table with food, friends and family
  • I hope you get invited to a holiday party and I hope you host one too
  • I hope you light a candle
  • I hope you get to lick a beater
  • I hope you hear sleigh bells
  • I hope you enter a church
  • I hope you help decorate a tree
  • I hope you wear soft, warm jammies on crispy cold nights
  • I hope you look for silver stars against a night sky, one star in particular
  • I hope you read Christmas stories to a child
  • I hope you wonder about wisemen and shepherds and why there was no room at the inn
  • I hope you smell baking cookies or baking bread or anything baked at home
  • I hope you wrap a gift for someone you don’t know
  • I hope a little kid kisses your cheek
  • And I hope, oh I hope, that you celebrate the birthday of a very special King

Because no matter the tinseled distractions, when it comes down to the barest truth, Christmas is about the birth of a baby and the rebirth of all of us.