I started listing to Christmas music on November 15 – a full week before Thanksgiving. I love Christmas with all the music, decorations, festive movies and TV specials, Christmas cards from friends and families, and overall cheer, it makes for a great atmosphere.
But sometimes Christmas comes with false impressions. Like the perfect, happy families that start arriving in my mailbox in early December. Or like the perfect present expectations we place on ourselves and others. Sometimes even the impression that our house is a cozy, picture perfect Christmas setting (if you can take the picture close enough so you can’t see the laundry, it might be!)
Because it’s a joyful time of year, we don’t want to rock the boat by sharing what may (or may not) be happening in your home. Maybe finances are extra tight; or your marriage is going through a rough patch; or maybe someone in your family is really sick right now. These aren’t exactly the things you use to start up a conversation at the office holiday party.
So how do you deal with the realities of a not so perfect life during the most wonderful time of the year?
Here are a few things to consider.
• Accept that life isn’t perfect. That’s the start. We all know this, but during this time of year it can be very challenging as we want to project that everything is going great! Be ok that things are not ok and take it one day at a time, seeking God and striving to work to make things better.
• Focus on the real meaning/purpose of Christmas. As festive as the holidays are, we have to remember that they are festive for a reason. There is great joy because our Savior has been born. Luke 2:10-11 says, “And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.'”
Take time today to be in the moment during this “most wonderful time of the year.” Listen to music that is not Christmas-y if it takes the pressure off. But most importantly, spend time with the One who gave us His Son so that we can celebrate this season.