Come as you are. 

Some of us are already celebrating big. We will spend the next weeks leading up to Christmas packing in as many festive activities as possible. We will jingle all the way to Christmas Day! The whole season brings us joy and we want to share the love and happiness we feel by showering others with acts of goodwill and kindness! This spreading of joy is really a break from the mundane that renews and refreshes us!

Some of us celebrate traditionally. We will decorate, sing Christmas carols and buy gifts. Not many of our activities will be over the top. We find joy in our simple traditions. They make us feel more normal and that brings us joy. We want to share our joy within our families, sharing love and creating memories. To go beyond our traditions this year, adds too much pressure and steals our joy replacing it with stress. 

Others of us…we are here. We made it to Christmas. We will do what we can, but honestly we are struggling. Life is hard, circumstances are unknown, and the outward expression of Christmas Joy is just a bit difficult right now. It won’t always be this way, but for now, our Christmas spirit simply consists of hope. Hope for a brighter future. We are not scrooges and we don’t hold resentment for our friends and family that are “all in” this Christmas season. In fact, watching you brings us hope that one day soon, we too, will feel the “traditional” and the “over the top” Christmas spirit again!

We can all relate to the descriptions above, maybe you find yourself somewhere in between. Possibly you do not quite fit into one description or the other but you relate to them all. 

Each of us is living through the same time, but we are experiencing it differently. This is the beauty of humanity.

Shared experiences do not equal a collective experience. 

If the last couple of years has taught us anything, it is that while we may be going through a similar situation, at any given time we are experiencing things differently. Each of us taking different learning and wisdom to be applied in our own lives. 

Here we are at Christmas. Things are still not completely “normal”. We have learned a lot about ourselves and each other. We are still learning a lot. We are learning to accept each moment as it comes. Learning to love ourselves, and other people, as they are. We are learning to accept other people’s limitations and boundaries, as well as our own. We are living and loving in new ways. 

Our central nervous systems have experienced a level of stress that most of us did not know existed. Any given day can bring with it “too much”. We are tired, and for each of us rest looks different. For some, rest is to lay low. We take time to recharge alone or with someone we love. For others, rest is to escape the everyday and dive into Christmas! Our recharge comes from helping others and spreading cheer. 

As we enter into the Christmas season my prayer for you is that wherever you find yourself, you remember that you are enough. 

  • If your Christmas spirit is high and it is bringing you joy to do all the Christmas things, you are enough. 
  • If your traditions are keeping your spirit alive so that you can make Christmas magical for your children or grandchildren, you are enough. 
  • If you are going through the motions attempting to bring your Christmas spirit to life, you are enough.
  • If you believe that your Christmas spirit will grow stronger the closer we get to Christmas Day, you are enough.
  • If your to-do list is longer than your can-do list, you are enough. 
  • If this year your Christmas spirit is nothing but a whisper of hope, you are enough.  

There is no shame in what you are feeling, or not feeling this Christmas as long as you remember that you are known by a God that loved you so much he sent his only son to earth.

Whether that makes you want to tie jingle bells on and run through the streets spreading the good news, or collapse in the safety of His arms and rest, you are enough!

This year, more than any other before, the manger is beckoning each of us, “come as you are”. 

God did not send his son to save a perfect world. He instead sent Him to save a world full of people like you and me. People that are all too human.

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