This is how I have felt for the last 10 years. Christmas has been my least favourite time of year, and I have willingly admitted it. The introduction of ridiculously materialistic wish lists from family members; getting a gift that has no meaning other than it was quick an easy for the giver to purchase. Being made to feel like an afterthought in everything. Traditions have dissolved and quality time has disappeared, and we’ve been filling our time with obligations and WAY too many events to fit into a calendar. The last 10 years there seems to have been a big shift in mindset to “What am I going to get” instead of it being “how blessed am I that Christ was born for me”.
Two years ago I spent the entire Christmas season faking being happy. I was on bedrest with Grayson and spent a lot of time worried about my little man. But no one wants negative reality to interrupt their excitement, so I faked being happy and excited.
Last year was Grayson’s first Christmas, and for our sanity we laid out some ground rules, for us and for family. One event per weekend, and on Christmas eve and Christmas day it was just the 3 of us. No guests, no events, just the three of us celebrating together. Last year was the first year I didn’t feel pulled in a million directions and actually felt like we could sit and just relax. We went to Christmas eve service as a family, and we started some new traditions. It was nice to just sit and watch Grayson play and stare at the tree.
This year Gray still doesn’t fully understand things, but the amazement he has for seeing lights in the park, or a big tree at the mall gives me hope that maybe one year soon I’ll find that joy and excitement for Christmas again. Maybe having children of my own will help me see the season through their eyes.
I have always and will always be thankful for the reason we celebrate. I guess my disappointment in the season comes from my disappointment in people. Disappointed that they seem to have forgotten the reason we celebrate at all. And disappointed that we as a society are more focused on the events and the consumerism of the month and a specific date than we are focused on why we are so blessed to celebrate.
This year I decided to celebrate advent. As a child we didn’t have a specific tradition. We made paper chains for the tree with the verses of the Christmas story, but we didn’t have a chocolate calendar, or treats. This year I wanted to celebrate Advent, to remind myself of why we celebrate, and since music has this way of cutting to my soul I thought I would share 25 days of music that shows what Christmas means to me and some insights into why I chose a particular song. Songs like Little Drummer Boy, or Oh Holy Night, and lesser known songs like Joseph’s Song. Every day I’ll have a new song, with a new meaning, and maybe a few printables thrown in there too.
So subscribe to the blog, bookmark it, follow us on twitter or like us on Facebook, and come back every day to see what the song is for the day and what it means to me.