Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m struggling. I’m torn. I have a love / hate relationship with Christmas.
 Did I say that out loud?
  Oh . . . I guess I don’t really “hate” Christmas. That’s too strong of a word. Maybe it’s more like, “I’m afraid I will not experience . . .
     That picture-postcard perfect Christmas with a beautifully decorated (live) tree that fills the house with the intoxicating scent of pine,
     Perfectly chosen, perfectly wrapped gifts that no one will re-gift next year,
     A crackling fire in the fireplace,
     Mouth-watering smells coming from the kitchen,
     A loving family gathered together around the piano singing Christmas carols in perfect harmony,
     A tangible gentleness that settles over neighbors, shoppers, co-workers, friends and strangers who are all on their best behavior in honor of the Christmas season.
     In short, am afraid I will be disappointed – AGAIN.”
I know what you’re thinking. “Really, H.A.! With unrealistic expectations like that it’s no wonder you’re afraid of being disappointed!”

Well, I can’t help it. I long for the ideal. I want to experience the TRUE meaning of Christmas. I want the love of Christ to fill my heart, my home, my family, my friends, my business, my city, my state, and my nation!! I want the miracle of Luke 2:13, “And suddenly to the shepherds there appeared a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest and on earth PEACE and GOODWILL toward men!'”

I want my response to be the same as those who experienced the first Christmas. Joseph, Mary, Elizabeth, Zacharias, the angels, the shepherds, Simeon, all basically had one response . . . praise and thanks and blessing and glory to God. The saviour of the world has come!

And . . .

I also want the Norman Rockwell / Thomas Kincaid Christmas. I miss having “traditions” to look forward to. For some reason I have never been able to create them. I don’t have a special recipe, an annual photo, a special party dress or an occasion to wear one! Last year my sister-in-law Rosanne decorated the house from top to bottom and believe me it was stunning. Not a single person came over! I tried to pull various entertaining opportunities together but because of the hustle and bustle that attends the holidays, everyone was just too busy with their own plans. It was sad.

I’m not trying to sound pathetic. I’m merely trying to process my love / hate relationship with Christmas.

Maybe this year will be different. Maybe I am being unrealistic. Maybe I’ve watched too many old movies.

What do you think? Any thoughts?
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