I recently had a conversation with a guy who referred to Christmas as “just another day.” My first instinct was to throw a yellow card on the field and explain to him (with a joyful disposition, of course) just how mistaken he was. Instead, I took a mental step back, and I considered his point. Suddenly, my indignation receded, and I took on a different perspective.
Let it be abundantly clear that I love Christmas. I start listening to Christmas music long before Thanksgiving. I enjoy all the trappings of this season. The sight of little white lights on houses and store fronts. The sound of the Salvation Army bells as I leave a store. The taste of gingerbread or peppermint bark. The smell of pine trees. The warmth of a fire on a cold night (assuming I live somewhere other than Texas). Pageants, parties, gift exchanges, adopt-a-family receptions, potlucks, and time off from work. All of these things–and many more–serve to make December a unique month, and for the most part, they all center on one day of the month – the 25th.
In addition to all the positive elements of the holiday season, many people find December to be an extremely difficult month. Family dynamics, feeling the loss of loved ones, loneliness in the midst of so much perceived joy, pressure to be certain places for certain events, and general winter malaise all contribute to some staggering statistics about how unpleasant this time of year can be for many.
But Christmas is just another day.
For all the excitement that it can bring to kids from 1 – 92, it is just another day. For all the sadness and pressure it can bring, it is just another day.
As a follower of Jesus, one of the more remarkable things about Christmas is that it is something that can be celebrated 365 days a year.
God has been gently reminding me that I always have a reason to rejoice – no matter what my circumstances may be. In all honestly, my circumstances are not all that unpleasant. However, there are some internal battles that I continue to fight, and those battles can easily steal my joy.
But God has made a way, through Jesus, for me to be at peace with Him (and with my circumstances). That “way” was planned before the foundation of the world and it transcends time. It has not been relegated to any specific day of the year.
The point is simply that I have developed a slightly different perspective on Christmas in recent weeks. Whether I am enjoying something that is unique to the Christmas season or I am lamenting the fact that I don’t have someone to enjoy it with, I will choose to remember that I have peace with God.
Christmas is just another day. It is just another day to rejoice in the Lord.