I was tempted. So tempted. The sadness and the self pity sneaked up on me quietly and threatened to overtake me, accosting me in a way that is so familiar to me every holiday season. As it has every holiday season that I can remember. When I was a child, I never seemed to get exactly what I wanted for Christmas. When I was a mother of small children, we never had enough money to give the kids the kind of Christmas that I wanted to give them. As a divorced woman, I have been alone the last 12 Christmases….not having someone special to be with at this time of year.

But I got angry this year. I hate feeling that way, alone and depressed. I got out my journal and started writing and the first thing I wrote was ” I WILL NOT be depressed this year. I will be in control of my thought process, and not let my ego (the enemy) control it. So instead of listing the reasons why I was sad and depressed, I decided to list the things I could be happy about. (Even though I wasn’t feeling particularly happy.)
Here is my list:
1.) I don’t have to fight the crazy shoppers.
2.) By being alone, I can do WHAT I want, WHEN I want.
3.) I have a roof over my head that is paid for, and I do not have to struggle to stay warm and dry outside.
4.) I don’t have to struggle to provide a big lavish Christmas for a bunch of children on no money.
5.) I can concentrate on the real reason for Christmas.

That one stopped me. The real reason for Christmas. Not to give presents to friends or family. Not to provide a lavish meal. Not to party (or shop) until I drop. Not to watch every mushy Christmas show that appears on tv. Or listen to every Christmas song ever recorded.

The real reason…to be Thankful that God became a man. That He came to Earth, fully human, to experience the things that we experience, so that He would KNOW what it was like to be fully human, and that He would give up his life on a cross, so that I wouldn’t have to. That He descended into Hell, so that I wouldn’t have to. That he ROSE from the grave so that I COULD.

So I am sitting here crying anyway. But not because I am sad or depressed…but because I am grateful! Thank you Father for your wonderful Gift of life this Christmas!

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