Friday was an epic fail for me. Christmas came and consumed me and spit me out whole.
Brene Brown, famous author, mentions that “Connection is why we are here – how we are wired.”
But I have found this season that I am quite unconnected. It hasn’t been fun. It hasn’t been peaceful. It hasn’t been full of meaning.
On Friday, I thought I had the day figured out. Then Jed had to work late (till 10:00pm) and the kids starting fighting as soon as they saw each other. I ended up strapping them in the car and going to buy a whole bunch of presents I didn’t need nor could afford.
I hadn’t lived that day but I was trying to survive. Where was my spark? My connection to the magic of this season?
In the dark of night, on the drive home, with yelling kids and a car full of presents I already regretted buying, the radio Gods took pity on me. They gave me the gift of music and for a moment…surrounded me with meaning, with Christmas, with connection.
On the radio, I heard this song, Angels From the Realms of Glory, and my heart melted and opened up:
The song parted my anger and redirected my gaze. It reminded me of a Christmas over a decade ago, in a Wisconsin blizzard. I was serving a service mission for my church. The girl with me and I had served people all day, it was late, dark and snowy. We stopped at the tree lot and bought the last real tree for a dollar from a kind man about to close shop. We carried the tree on our shoulders for 10 blocks, dragged it up the stairs and into our apartment. We put Charlie Brown lights on it and sang some Christmas songs together. We prayed for those we loved, for those we had just met and we went to bed.
The memory of that simple night is one of my all time favorites Christmas’s. It was entirely about other people and in a way that didn’t involve low budget expectations of what or how or why Christmas should be celebrated.
The truth is, I want to be an angel someday and sing praises to Jesus for all He has done for me. Truly only He knows the depth of our relationship and what I owe him. He is the reason Christmas means something to me and one of these years I hope to find a better balance between the commercialism and that quiet Wisconsin night long ago.
So the next morning, with dishes undone, the car unpacked full of meaningless presents, I sat my kids down and let them know how much I loved them. How I loved this season to celebrate all good things and what good things they were in my life. And then we watched the video above from the Piano Guys and we talked. I asked them to pay attention to how they felt as they watched. At the end, they turned to look at me, I patted their hearts and said, “That feeling you have now… that is Christmas.”