Christmas without Christmas

Snuggled up on the couch with my dog, Libby while Momma and Daddy sit holding each other’s hands. The candles flickering, filling the room with smell of warm vanilla and pine while the lights from the Christmas tree give the room a dim glimmer. Baking cookies, watching Christmas movies, laughing, sharing past memories, drinking eggnog…this is all I’ve ever really wanted.

The Christmas season brings with it a whirlwind of emotion for me. This will be my fourth Christmas without a tree. Not only without a tree but also without Christmas music filling the house, without gifts, without my Dad and without a home to call my own. I feel like it is rather easy for folks to quickly say “ohhhh, Christmas isn’t about the gifts…its about Jesus’ birth! With Him, everything is okay!” And while I mostly agree with this statement, I have to disagree with some of it. In a world that is advancing at the rate my leg hair grows (that means really quickly), we as a society are becoming more and more obsessed with the materialism this world has to offer. I mean, look at Santa Claus…delivering his precious little elementary schoolers with iPads, his middle schoolers with iPhones, his highschoolers with new cars, and his college students with trips to Paris.¬†

Personally, I do become a little bitter that I won’t be waking up on Christmas morning and walking into my own living room to find gifts from “Santa” and my dad¬†stuffed under our own decorated Christmas tree. I’m jealous that I won’t get to spend time with my family, eat a delicious Christmas dinner and catch up with relatives. I’m upset that I won’t have the option to curl up in a bed of my own, in my own house on Christmas night after a long, rewarding day. Does it make me selfish for not solely remembering Christmas as Jesus’ birthday?

I am blessed to have TWO friends in my life who have offered for me to spend Christmas 2013 in their homes. Let me explain why I have declined their offers: It would honestly be like having everything I have ever wanted dangling right in front of my face while others get to actually embrace it. I could only see myself becoming jealous, depressed and closed off in this situation. Not only would I feel terribly uncomfortable watching my friends family open their gifts and share family memories, I would feel intrusive. As much as I may feel a part of my best friends’ families, I ultimately am not a biological equivalent.

You often hear the cliche “Christmas isn’t about getting, its about giving,” but what if you aren’t being given anything? Although I don’t have a physical house to visit over Christmas break and I don’t have any gifts to open from my parents, I want to focus on the blessings that I do have and all the gifts that I have been given. And I’m going to start by making a condensed list below.
1.) life
2.) good health
3.) a scholarship to one of America’s best universities
4.) some great friendships
5.) a living father
6.) (and best of all) my salvation…

Because after all, Christmas is about a man who saved my life and continues to shed His love, mercy, and unending grace on me.