I’m not feeling it.

I’ve hung up the decorations, lit the candles, bought the brandy butter and made the necessary arrangements. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… but without the trimmings it’s all a bit..well, turkey-ish.

In part it’s about expectations.  Birthdays, Valentine’s Day and News Year’s Eve are the same.  You’re meant to have THEBESTFUNEVER because EVERYONEELSEIS. But after ten minutes of charades (literal or metaphorical) my smile starts to twitch and I long to hide under the coats till it all goes away.

But that’s not all. I’m a Christian. I *know* it’s not about the presents and the bling.

It’s about Jesus coming. That’s the *answer*, right? But it’s not translating to my heart.  What should be good news of great joy has somehow gotten diluted to this weird empty sadness. Does anyone else get this?

Manger by Conran, shepherds with designer stubble and wise men bearing fine fragrance and baby massage oil from Harrods.  They’re feeling it. But I’m not. I’m not glittery and beautiful and on trend or expensive. And neither is my Christmas.

So I’ve been looking back over the gospel story. Mary, Joseph and Jesus.

Here’s what they’re feeling:

the prickle of hay and the smell of manure.

the stress of being driven far from friends and family.

fear that their baby would be slaughtered by Herod – and sadness for the children who had already died at his hands.

no map for the present, let alone the future.

Not so cosy. Or easy.

The Harrods Christmas is impressive.  Shiny. Edgy. Hard. But try as I might, I can’t see my reflection in their window display. I can’t even get close.

But the baby in the stable: he’s real.  There’s room for me – and you –  around his manger. We can smell the animals and feel the draft: but looking at his face we know –   it’s gonna be okay.

Which is worth celebrating.


9 thoughts on “Christmas

  1. Yes! yes I totally get you and you’re right – the ‘idol’ of cosy, fun Christmas is a million miles away from most peoples reality and nowehere near a joyful as the thought of seeing his face one day. thanks for the reminder :)

  2. I’m not the only one who always wanted a shiny perfect Christmas and now realises it is in fact a myth? Huh. Good to know. You’ll find me disentangling tingle from the cat and dusting off the knitted nativity, breathing a sigh of relief.

  3. Emma – I feel exactly the same. The pressure to be super-happy at Christmas generally makes me feel like I just want to hide away. But you are right, the Jesus who knew cold and manure and being alone has space for us even if the world doesn’t. Keep blogging I love it! x

  4. I’m not feeling it either… I’m glad I’m not the only one. I’ll join you under the coat if you like!

    But it’s so refreshing to know it’s not the glitz & designer fashion that matters but what Jesus came to do.

  5. i hate big celebrations where i’m ‘expected’ conform. i don’t feel christmas, i don’t feel jolly. i won’t be putting up the trimmings, or anything like that. i’m stressed over money and gifts, and getting it ‘right’
    and its not just christmas. my birthday. i tried for a few years to celebrate and felt a fraud. i cant see anything to celebrate. but i have one friend who refuses to let me be, to let me mourn as i want too, and puts mega pressure on me to acsept ‘happy birthdays’ and stuff, and it just makes it all worse.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *