“I don’t feel very Christmassy this year.”
“I’m just not into it.”
“Where has all the magic gone?”
“Why can’t I feel the excitement like I did when I was a child?”
How many times have you heard something like that this year? How often have you said it?
We all have years when we don’t feel Christmassy, and we all have fixes. Some of us go shopping…
Some of us drive around and look at the neighbor’s decorations…
Sometimes it works, and we start to feel the Christmas spirit flutter back to life, and sometimes it doesn’t. What, exactly, do we want to feel? What are we searching for? What have we lost? What are we trying to regain?
I think I was a teenager the first time I noticed I didn’t have the Christmas spirit. I recall a conversation with my brother and it puzzled us that the Christmas spirit was something that could come and go. Was there a way to conjure it back up? Were we at the mercy of fate? Did we have to accept that there would be some years when we didn’t feel Christmassy, and other years when we did? Did growing up mean losing the Christmas spirit?
Once we attain the age of responsibility and have to balance budgets, work schedules, family obligations, and social, work and church requirements, does the Christmas spirit simply get squeezed out? Are we so wrung out from dashing to and fro that there is nothing left to feel merry about?
Have you lost the Christmas spirit this year? Perhaps we lose the spirit of Christmas when we lose the vision of Christmas.
As children, our vision of Christmas is Santa Claus, Elves on shelves, and presents under the tree. We revel in praise for our good behavior and how well we memorized our lines for church and school programs. Christmas is about receiving things.
As adults, our vision of Christmas is a giant to-do list that is under the gun of December 25. We fret and worry over schedules, menus, gifts, cards, parties, laundry, and guest rooms. We can sense the sand running out in the hour glass.
Maybe it’s time to renew our vision. Maybe it’s time to focus on what it is we are actually celebrating – Emmanuel – God with us. Christmas: that moment in history when God stepped out of heaven and came to earth with the distinct purpose of dying in order to save His people from death and hell.
“Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
“Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” – Philippians 2:6-11 NLT
Is your Christmas spirit dead?
“He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.”
Do you not feel Christmassy?
“He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.”
Are you just not into Christmas?
“He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!”
Do you want to feel like you did as a child?
“The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.” – Psalm 103 NLT
Perhaps changing your vision is the key to renewing your spirit. Instead of focusing on Christmas this year, will you commit to focus on Christ? Rather than hoping to renew the Christmas spirit within you, will you ask God to restore to you the joy of His salvation? Will you lift up Jesus this Christmas so that He might lift you up?