“Yes,” said Queen Lucy. “In our world too, a Stable once had something inside it that was bigger than our whole world.” - C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle
Christmas was hard this year. It was my first Christmas away from my dad, and the fifth without my mom's sweet, gracious presence. I was at the mercy of the traditions of others. I didn't get to read the Christmas story from Luke 2 first thing in the morning. I didn't get to each my aunt's good, southern food or fall asleep on my grandpa's couch. I didn't get to bundle up and go see a movie with my dad.
It was hard. At one point, I went in the back room and just cried.
But there were good things, too. Even though my sister, dad, and I had already exchanged presents, my sister went out and bought me a new outfit so I'd have something to open Christmas morning. I got to cuddle up with a hot cup of wassail and watch The Time of the Doctor with my nephews. (Matt Smith, you will be missed.) I got so many sweet texts from so many sweet friends.
And the main reason the day ended up being okay? It's so obvious and simple, but so life-changing and important. The birth of Christ. When focusing on traditions and warm, fuzzy feelings, the holiday can take one of two routes: happiness or bitterness. Those who are in good situations greet the day with a smile. Those who are suffering do their best to get through the hardest day of the year. Though I fall in to that last category this year, I'm thankful the day is worth more than its traditions. It is a day in celebration of the most life-changing, history-altering event to ever happen (in tandem with what happens on Easter). For the first time in my life, I think, the day was totally about Christ's birth for me. It couldn't be about anything else.
I'm thankful for what He did. And I'm thankful for my family.
Here's to the upcoming new year.