Christmas Changes

It seems that most bloggers are blogging about the holidays lately.

I read one really great post about passive aggressive gift giving. Funny stuff.

So as any self-respecting blogger should do, I’ve decided to copy the rest and write about the holidays.

This year Christmas has a very different feel to me. For the first time in a long time I won’t be “going home” for Christmas, I’ll already be home. That means we have a real tree instead of the little fake tree I got at Family Dollar for my apartments which never allow real ones. It means I’ll eagerly await the arrival of my siblings as I did when I was in grade school and they were off at college.  It means I have TV (which I haven’t had for the last five years), so I get to enjoy all the cheesy Christmas movies. And it means I’ll be around for all of the cooking, cleaning, and preparation that goes into getting ready for holiday guests (bah humbug).
I also don’t feel the usual “hustle and bustle” since I’ve only worked one day in the last two weeks. I have almost all my Christmas shopping done (which never happens this early), and I’ve even wrapped them all! Usually my twin sister, Kati, does my wrapping for me because she loves it and I hate it, but she won’t be making it home this year.

Which brings us to another change- my first Christmas without my twin sister.

I remember sometimes when we were little we had to open our gifts at the same time because we were getting the same thing and it kind of ruins the surprise when you see what the other got. I also remember the year my parents tricked poor Kati and wrapped a book for her in a giant box. Not only was it a disappointingly small gift compared to what she was expecting, but Kati hated reading! She sprinted back to our room in tears. Way to go parents.

Anyways, the point of all that is to say I will really miss her this year.

And perhaps the point of my entire post is to say that though Christmas will always be the glorious celebration of God’s grace through the birth of a child, it will also always be changing for us here on Earth.

Some years more than others, but it always changes.

Some years there is the heaviness of loss we have suffered- broken relationships, death, the loss of a job- that leave us grieving and disoriented.

Some years it’s the joy of a new baby or marriage that has introduced an entire new world of love we didn’t know existed.

Some years it’s the disruption of a move that makes every familiar person and tradition that much more meaningful.

We are all faced with losses and triumphs throughout the year. I think both the good and bad we experience make Jesus’ birth a little sweeter. Sometimes not at first…but eventually.

This year, I’m blessed to have the time to reflect on the sorrows and successes of 2011, to both grieve them and praise God for them. I hope you can find the time to do the same.

*Photo by Sara Garcia at OpenYourShutter.com

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