All I want for Christmas …
all I’ve ever wanted …
is to recapture that childlike wonder and innocent expectancy.
Now most people would say I have never really left my childhood; in some ways they are right; in other ways I have lost the most wonderful parts of me somewhere along the way.
I have been so terribly disappointed with Christmas for over three decades. There, I said it.
My hopes for surprise have shriveled. Sad tears make my face glisten. Longing for celebrations with family and friends round the dinner table, I wait throughout the day, thinking … maybe this year.
As I read what I’ve written, tears gather behind my eyelids, and are now falling down my cheeks. I know this is truly how I feel about Christmas. It hurts to admit that the time of year for joy, glad tidings, and rejoicing, escape me.
No one would guess it; I decorate my house beautifully; lights are lit on the tree; they are never turned off; a red poinsettia graces the dining room table; my collection of nativity scenes are on display, as they are all year, in their lighted cabinet; all through the house Christmas carols can be heard exclaiming that “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!”
I’ve just come from Israel and Jordan. I’ve been to Jerusalem and Bethlehem. I’ve seen the gold and silver and precious jewels and mosaics that grace the churches there. I know You, Lord, blessed me with many opportunities to see, touch, and feel, what remains of the past, and what lies in the future for us all. I am grateful; I am thankful; I am blessed to have had these amazing experiences; I arrived back home a mere month before Christmas. Yet here I am, dreading the day itself. I can handle the days before. It is the actual day, the twenty-fifth of December, that taunts me.
Every year I hope this Christmas will be different. But I know in my heart, it will just bring a different kind of sorrow.
Lord, I was so happy on my pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I’ve had my Christmas, I know that. I’m not looking for presents; I just want to feel the joy.
Help me, Lord. This is a real struggle for me each year.
I think I know what I want.
I think I know what I want.
I want Jesus to be born in me. I want to be afraid, not of the day, but like the shepherds, I want to be taken by surprise; I want to be astonished by what is taking place right in front of me; I want to run quickly to see for myself if what I was told is true; I want to follow that star; I want to creep slowly up to where the animals are kept for the night; I want to hear the angels singing; I want to feel the warmth of the animals around me; I want to hear a baby’s first cries; I want to watch love come down to earth; I want that love to enter my heart and stay forever. That’s all I want for Christmas.
Take my child’s heart, Lord … gently. You know how fragile it is. I will keep watch; I’ll wait; help me witness Your love in all it’s Glory! Amen
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