Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Fictions

Photos this week will be from my neighborhood holiday stroll.

First of all, thank you for the birthday wishes that keep pouring onto my Facebook page. I don't "feel" a year older, but I guess I must be. :-) But God is good. I keep thinking of ages when 40 was considered old, and the typical lifespan was only forty or fifty years, so I am--we are--blessed indeed!

Yesterday my husband told me a story that caused me to get all teary. When I started to cry, he asked what he always does: "Did I do something?" (ha ha), and when I assured him that he hadn't, he said, "But something must be wrong."

I shook my head no because I was unable to speak at that moment. But I wanted to say, "Sometimes Christmas makes me cry."

Have you heard that song by Mandisa? It's actually titled "Christmas makes me cry," and I relate to it every time I hear it. Worth looking up on itunes, if you have a minute.

A couple of weeks ago I spoke to a wonderful group of ladies out in Rocklin, California. They asked me to speak on "Christmas fictions," so I put together a list and I'd like to share it with you over the next few days.

Christmas Fiction #1: If you're familiar with "The Christmas Waltz," there's a line that says, "It's the time of year . . . when the world falls in love . . ."

Not necessarily. Christmas fiction #1 assures us that romantic wounds are healed at Christmas. Just sing “Santa Baby” to your loved one, and everything will be made right between you.

Sorry, but this just isn’t true. While “Santa Baby” is a cute song, holidays tend to amplify the stresses between couples. And if you and your spouse have recently separated or divorced, the holidays may seem like a haunting reminder of better times. So what do you do to combat this? You focus on others, not on yourself. If you're single, find another “loner,” and take them out to a Christmas play. Invite them to your Christmas dinner. Make a new friend. If you're married, take some time to relax with your spouse. Look for the positive, not the negative, and laugh a lot. Force yourself if you have to. Laughter is contagious. As my hubby and I say: "If we didn't laugh, we'd be crying."

Fiction 2. No one ever thinks of unhappy events at Christmas. Recent deaths and sorrows will be forgotten.

Oh, no they won’t. You may be haunted by the absence of a child, a spouse, a parent. So when these thoughts come to mind, don’t dwell on the people you're missing, but on celebrating their lives. Tell stories about the funny things they used to say and do. Bring out old photos and reminisce. If a few tears are shed, it’s okay. And remember this—even as the angels celebrated the birth of Christ, God the Father, who lives outside time, saw the agony of the cross and knew he had set his beloved son on an irrevocable path. He understands sorrow.

A special note: You may be grieving infertility, the lack of a child playing beneath your tree. I've been in that place, and it's not fun. May I share a verse with you? "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life." When you look at your Christmas tree, think of the trees of life God has planned for your future . . . and pray that He will lead you to them, in his perfect time.

More tomorrow.



Flossysmom said...

I really like what you have written. Christmas has become a very sad time for me these past few years .

Anonymous said...

and "A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul."

Best memory of this year - my fifteen year old squealing for joy at her grandmother's gift.

A tree of life, indeed.

Anonymous said...

Before I lose it in cyber-space, Angie, I'm putting my birthday wish and prayer here. Seems I cannot get it to work at Facebook. (And if later it posts 5 times, you'll know why. Ha.)

Dear God, please send blessings to my friend Angela today. May they rain on her and bring her joy as she has brought joy to so many of us. We celebrate Your birthday and hers today, Jesus. Thank you!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Angie, from the sopping west coast! Hope you have an awesome day.

Mary Kay

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Angie. Succinct, but so profound. Did anyone ever tell you that you have a way with words? ;-)

Mary Kay