‘For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
The manger gave way to the cross many years later when He gave His life for us so that we may be saved.
And this is why the real meaning of Christmas is that the Savior has come but the real meaning of Christianity is not the manger but the empty tomb.
No, it’s not about the gifts and the parties, it’s not about cash flow, it’s not about stocks inventory and it’s not about our failing economy.
It’s all about accepting the Prince of Peace and allowing Him to reign in our hearts so that we may spend the rest of eternity with Him.
This time of year, even if you don’t celebrate the real meaning of Christmas, can be fun, but also filled with some anxiety.
Treat yourself to a relaxing experience. Take a long, luxurious bubble bath. Listen to your favorite music. Pamper yourself with a new manicure, pedicure, or facial. Take this time to create a peaceful atmosphere to recharge your batteries.
For some people, relating to their birth family is a genuinely joyful experience. Perhaps they had parents who kept it real and a genuine camaraderie and respect with siblings – what a blessing! But for many, the dysfunction inevitably appears, and even if it doesn’t, you may not be fully relaxed as you spend lots of time with your birth family over the December period.
Being authentic is never easy. Conforming is what makes everyone comfortable – on the outside. Conforming has its roots in shame – that feeling of not being good enough. We conform so that we never have to be shamed or mocked again by someone. Sensitivity to shame is also the reason families can be prickly around each other.
How strange that people would think that Christmas is one giant party without understanding what the celebration is really all about. This season like every other season, month, day or year, is a time to be authentic. Is it time to form your own end of year traditions? Is it time to make your own plans to celebrate your life and give thanks? Do you need to go somewhere to rejuvenate before the start of another year? Is it time to be courageous and use words like “we won’t be coming this year”? or “I won’t be staying for the full 3 days this year” or “we’re going to spend it just us this year?”
To enjoy your holidays with family, the job of drawing clear boundaries is yours and yours alone. The job of being empathic and understanding towards your family is also made easier if your own boundaries are clear and not being crossed.
It isn’t honest to say “I don’t care what others think” – but it is courageous to say “I don’t mind what others think”.
Give yourself permission.