I’ll admit it. I’m a Christmas grinch. I just hate how everything is so jolly. When I think of Christmas, I think of long lines at the supermarket and people flipping each other off parking their cars. Merry Christmas indeed. Like most people, we know when the seasons start to change… It’s when Starbucks starts changing their holiday cups! This year features two rather jolly figures ice skating. Very cute. Unless you’re a grinch, which I am. The question that most people ask is, “why?”
Well the truth is, in 1992 my father passed away a couple days before Christmas. Christmas has never been the same since.
My response usually makes people feel like a horrible person just for asking, but that is not my intent at all. The truth is that while sitting at a Starbucks I realized that for many people, maybe Christmas isn’t so jolly after all. Maybe for some people, like myself, Christmas is a reminder that there is someone missing from the dinner table. For others, maybe it magnifies how lonely and desolate this season can be. So for everyone out there for whom Christmas isn’t so jolly, this Advent season is for you because the Good News of the Bible is: no matter how deserted, desolate, lonely, or broken, God is with us. Immanuel. No matter how chaotic life might be right now, Advent allows us to cling onto the hope that God sees our tears and knows our sorrow in all of its human glory and suffering. You are not alone. So for every heartbroken Grinch out there, may this Advent season bring you new hope.
Today, one of the redeeming parts of Christmas is the fact that my wife tries so hard every year to get me to adopt a redeemed Christmas narrative. While it is a slow and painful process, I think it’s starting to make my heart grow a little bit bigger. The picture in this post is of my favorite ornament. It’s a sparkly round ornament that I accidentally dropped a few years ago and dented. I lovingly call it, “the Death Star”. Every year since, I have to hang up the Death Star first in the very center of the tree. Perhaps it serves as a metaphor for a slow redemption and redefinition of my sentiments towards Christmas.