Advent: Christmas Is Coming and We Will Not Survive

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I can feel the pull of Christmas. It’s coming, and I have no idea how I’m going to survive.

Holidays bring formalities, and formalities play to my weaknesses in ways that I can’t quite describe.

It has taken months to write thank you notes for the gifts people sent us after Ethan’s birth. I’m still not done.

How does one choose between stacks of dishes that need washing, sleep, and that stack of thank you notes each night while an unwritten book manuscript or three beckons?

Ya read me?

It’s ironic that Christmas has become this thing that, some days, I think is going to kill me. We get all stressed out around the holidays about all that we have to do.

Christmas is coming, and how I wish it rung in my ears as good news.

How far I can slip away from the good news, the message that God is coming to save us, to bring peace to our war-shattered, oppression-heavy world.

Christmas is coming because God wants to save us. When I look at it that way, I can see what is really killing me.

It’s JC Penny, Amazon, Pinterest, and Martha Stewart.

It’s expectations, ideals, and our insane economy that, we’re told, will only grow if we spend enough and take on enough debt.

Because growth is always good, even if it kills us.

It’s like my hope has taken a vacation, and my cynical side is lounging around our house with a pipe, a glass of red wine, and my slippers.

My cynical side tells me that Christmas is going to wear me out, leave me broken, busy, rushed, and sleep deprived.

But Christmas is coming to save us. And it takes almost more faith than I can muster to write that sentence.

The forces of our world figured that sending a raving mad, homicidal king after the Christ child had failed. Why not kill him with impossible ideals and expectations about the perfect holiday?

And here again, God comes, Christmas comes, to make us perfect. US. Not the holiday. Not dinner. Not the presents.

We’re all going to share presents with our loved ones. I even hope you’ll consider giving one of my books as a gift (HINT! HINT! NUDGE! NUDGE!). However, let’s remember that the holiday will already be broken, ruined, and destitute because we’re going to be there.

We need to be saved.

My cynical side will be caroling outside, trying to con his way in for figgy pudding and a side of despair. My only hope comes with Christmas, with a  God who came to save us from ourselves and from our crazy world.

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One thought on “Advent: Christmas Is Coming and We Will Not Survive

  1. lisa delay

    I know the feeling. It’s all too much, and not very authentically Christian. I’m trying to schedule in full on downtimes of unplugging, and reflection…but as the errands and lists mount it gets harder. I go a bit bah humbug too.

    Must. Go. Bro. Lawrence-style…continue breathing and all that stuff :)

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