I have to admit that it just doesn’t feel like Christmas. I’m not sure exactly why that is. It could be the weather. Frankly in south Louisiana none of us expect a white Christmas but temperatures in the eighties, rain and tornadoes? Ho, Ho, No.
Maybe it doesn’t seem like Christmas because life isn’t exactly jovial. This year has been a great challenge and 2016 doesn’t look better. Our family has dealt with a lot and will deal with a lot more and I know we are not alone.
How did Christmas get so connected with winter weather, fabulous food and spending too much on gifts? I grew up in south Louisiana and the Christmases I spent away from home were in places like California and Vietnam. No snow, sleigh rides or fabulous feast on those Christmases past.
The good Christmases I do remember involve wearing out the Sears catalogue trying to decide on the one gift Santa could afford that year for me and my eight brothers and sisters. There weren’t a lot of extra presents under the tree, a box of Reese’s Peanut Butter cups from Nan Mil was about all you could be sure of. Lots of Christmases my dad was unemployed or underemployed. Our houses were simple and rented, never owned. We didn’t go out looking at Christmas lights because we didn’t own a car. I remember walking to Christmas Eve services and having egg nog after. Those memories are strong and vivid and warm and very good.
This Christmas should actually be one of the best. My Christmas history isn’t about celebrating bounty, fancy ski trips to find snow, or having too many gifts to count. Jesus was not born into a world that was doing so well that it had no need of him. In fact, Long lay the world In sin and error pining,’Til He appear’d And the soul felt its worth. He came to a word mired in sin, looking for joy in all the wrong places, having no sense of value or worth.
This year Jesus is coming to struggling lives. People dealing with unemployment, illness, doubt and, even, despair. It’s right perhaps that the weather isn’t Christmas like, that many can’t afford to try to spend themselves into a Merry Christmas. With all that we’ve created Christmas to be stripped away or at least dimmed, maybe we can see Jesus, the hope and the light of the world. Maybe we can thank God for summer weather in December, unemployment in normally oil rich south Louisiana, and all the rest that makes us realize we can’t do it alone. We really need a savior. We always have and always will. Maybe this year it will be easier to recognize that.
A Blessed Christmas to all.