Sometimes we need time to ‘find Christmas’

Published 9:03 am Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Have you lost Christmas somewhere between January of this year with all your good intentions and now when the big day roars quickly upon us threatening to arrive before we are fully prepared? Our homes must be decorated to the hilt, and presents must be bought. Oh, and lest we forget the gourmet meal each of us needs to present to our family and friends on Christmas day, and the holiday parties, yes…the holiday parties.

In the somewhat mad rush of finding Christmas I can sometimes actually lose her. This week I began to feel somewhat out of sorts and couldn’t quite put my finger on what was wrong. I had to get quiet and still for the Lord to speak to me. When I finally slowed my somewhat frantic pace of activity the realization came to me quite clearly, I was feeling stress because I had too much planned. I didn’t have anything on my agenda that was not good; there was just too much of a good thing.

Not wanting to disappoint, I tried to uphold my tradition of hosting a large extended family party when I neither had the time or energy to do so after a big move only weeks before. Toying with the idea of cancelling left me feeling a little disappointed, but also relieved at the prospect. In the end wisdom won out, and I called the family to let them know. I think some of them were relieved they had one less obligation to fulfill!

When speaking to my baby brother about it he came up with an excellent idea. “Jan, why don’t you just reschedule after Christmas. You can do something when everything calms down, and you have more time.” Now that sounded like a great idea, and instead of feeling stressed I’m excited about the holidays approaching!

Christmas Reflections

Christmas is the one time of the year when we want all to be right with the world. We want a Norman Rockwell, picture perfect day complete with snow and mistletoe.

Some of us won’t settle for just a day. No! Give us a whole season filled with Christmas smells and peals of children’s laughter. Come Christmas! Bring lights, music, food, friends and holiday cheer.

Decorating begins promptly on Thanksgiving Day and only reluctantly skids to a halt on Christmas, when our efforts sparkle and shimmer for family and friends as they feast on all the delectable dishes lovingly prepared by our own hands. That’s the Norman Rockwell version of the culmination of our labor of love. Yes, love goes into every bow tied, every cookie baked, and every carol sung. But seldom in this life do the stars line up for the perfect day.

The other version of the big day is probably more realistic, somewhere between Norman’s perfect picture and Charles Dickens’ peek into the life of Tiny Tim and his poor prospects for Christmas.

The turkey may be slightly dry;

The dressing may be lumpy.

My dress, so glamorous in the store,

May look a little frumpy.

Christmas won’t be perfect

As most days never are;

But joy will fill our hearts

As we think about that star.

The one that led the wise men

On the first Christmas Day

Bearing gifts to a lowly manger

Where a tiny baby lay.

The tiny baby boy

Who took away our sin

And gives a life of purpose

To all who follow Him.

No, Christmas won’t be perfect, but it will be filled with wonder. It’s a time to remember good times and good friends. As we surround ourselves with those we love many of us will shed a silent tear for loved ones called home too soon.

Amidst all the hoopla, laughter and tears may we all remember there is still hope for the world. Hope was born on Christmas.

Jan Penton Miller can

be reached at