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My favorite holiday has always been Christmas. There is something magical about Christmas – the lights, the snow, the music and the feeling in the air that something wonderful is about to happen. Because of that, ever since I was a little girl I was always determined that every year had to be the perfect Christmas. It had to be “just right.” I always wanted that picture-perfect-Christmas-card-type of Christmas that everyone seemed to have.
What I didn’t realize at the time is that no one’s Christmas is perfect. No one’s. Not everyone has the money to buy tons of gifts to give to all their family and friends, no one has the perfect amount of time to bake hundreds of Christmas cookies and bring Christmas cheer to everyone in their town and not everyone has perfect or even good memories of Christmas…
One of my most favorite things about Christmas is giving gifts. I love being able to pick out the perfect gift for a friend or family member, wrapping it especially for them, then watching them open it and seeing the joy on their face. I was sad earlier this month because I knew this year we would not be able to buy many gifts for family and friends. All we were really able to buy for was our two year old son, Adam. My husband and I did a couple of things for each other, but we really wanted this Christmas to special for our son.
I was sad because I wanted to give gifts to our family and friends. Even though we can show love all year long, I feel like the end of the year is the perfect time to show our family and friends how much we have loved and appreciated them throughout the year. I was sad that we could not show that this year and most of the years since we have been married since our our budget has been tight. I felt it was not the perfect Christmas if I could not give gifts to others. I felt bad.
But this year I have realized more than I have any other year that it’s not about the gift giving, the family traditions or the perfect Christmas. It’s being together as a family every year celebrating the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Last year, my husband was deployed for Christmas. It was a really rough time for me because even though I spent Christmas with family, I still felt so alone. I was determined that this year we were going to make up for last year. It was going to be special because next year my husband will be deployed and will miss Christmas again. I wanted it to be a time where we would make memories that would last.
Even though Christmas is still a few days away, this year has far exceeded my dreams. We’ve had several special gifts given to us, had both of our families come to visit, and have had a special time enjoying being together as a family. A few weeks ago, my husband found out he has problems with his heart. They are still doing some testing to find out what is going on, but it has been a stressful time waiting and wondering and only a few weeks before Christmas. But even amid that, we have been blessed with more than I was expecting in the little things that people have done for us. I feel that this year God’s gift to me was realizing that the perfect Christmas isn’t necessarily what we do, it’s already in our hearts.
“I don’t want a Christmas that you can buy. I don’t want a Christmas that you can make. What I want is a Christmas that you can hold. A Christmas that holds me, remakes me, revives me. I want a Christmas that whispers – Jesus. I want a Christmas that lives and breathes and moves in Jesus Christ.” – Ann Voskamp