Christmas can be so chaotic, can't it? I mean, this whole season can be such a disconnect between what we expect and what we end up experiencing. That's why the question that always nags us during this time of year is this: "How we can possibly enjoy Christmas?"
What we must do
We all want to enjoy this time of year. We all want to enjoy family, friends, and each other. We all want to have moments of pleasure that remind us that this is a time like no other.
So we grit our teeth. We somehow try to muster up some sentimental Christmas-y feelings, and we draw it out of others. We try to go to a Christmas Eve service with our family to insert some singing and reflection into the mix. We try to recreate what worked in the past and what seemed to deliver in our memory banks. Those are all really good things. Admittedly, some are better than others, but we're all making valiant attempts to enjoy Christmas.
What prevents us
But in spite of our efforts, we always tend to get caught up in the dressings of Christmas, and everything else around Christmas, instead of Christmas itself. Inevitably, we get caught up in the hubbub with the one family member who always brings up that one thing over the meal. We get caught up in the whole gift exchange: who gets what, and how equal it was, and how pleased everyone is. We get caught up with the festivities, the food, the timing, and the decor, like some Christmas-y version of Martha Stewart. Inevitably, we get caught up with the stuff of Christmas instead of Christmas itself.
It reminds me about the story of a woman who was doing her last-minute Christmas shopping at a crowded mall. She was tired of fighting the crowds. She was tired of standing in lines. She was ...
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