I’m about to type something that people might be shocked by…I used to HATE Christmas. Anna Christine Boulier was a Christmas Hater. This girl didn’t like Christmas music, the Hallmark Christmas movies (*gasp), the cheer, the fun, the parades… I hated it all. (Are you mad at me, yet? Have a shocked you?)
WHY? You might ask…
The holidays were not fun at my house. My dad was an angry man and he made sure to make every holiday, birthday, and celebration more torture than fun. Even when we were little kids, my sister and I never knew what would set my dad off and lived in constant fear of him becoming angry for some slight action.
I remember one Christmas he became angry about us laughing around the Christmas tree and he exploded in anger. Yelling, he ripped open a bag of plain potato chips which my sister and I spent the rest of the night picking up.
My dad hated Christmas so much, he only let us put up the tree a few days before Christmas and it was taken down on the 26th every year.
Not exactly a time for holiday cheer and peace on Earth…
The hard part was NO ONE knew what our holiday celebrations were like and we kept our family secrets and as the holiday vacation time approached, our family lived in fear of my dad being off work with us, alone in the house for days on end.
Christmas is a time of MIRACLES and this story is no exception.
My dad left us when I was sixteen and that first Christmas will always be one of my favorites. We put the tree up in November and left it up until February just because we could. (Not the record by the way).
Holidays were still hard because families aren’t perfect and mine is no exception, but I learned after many years of repeated lessons the true meaning of REMEMBER THE REASON FOR THE SEASON.
Christmas isn’t about perfect families, great and expensive gifts, tinsel, decorations, bows, or wrapping paper.
It isn’t about doing good deeds for just a few weeks out of the year.
Christmas isn’t about any of those things.
It’s about a tiny baby, born in innocence and wrapped in peace. Christmas is about when God from Heaven turned to Jesus, Word made flesh, and said, “Son, go save MY people. Bring them back to ME.”
The Christmas story is about Jesus CHOOSING to save us all, when we didn’t deserve it, couldn’t earn it, and wouldn’t completely understand it. BUT HE CHOOSE US ANYWAY!
Christmas is about CHOICE.
Choice in who we worship, what we worship. It’s a daily choice of who we trust, who we love and who we embrace as Christians.
Christmas for me is a CHOICE each and every day of the year. Do I believe? Can I choose to follow even when it hurts? Do I follow when I remain single and see another year waiting? Can I trust when money’s tight, the family is fighting, when I’m sick and tired?
- I CHOOSE to celebrate the reason for the season.
Each Christmas, I CHOOSE to follow the tiny baby who came to save us ALL.
Each Day, I CHOOSE to remember that I don’t deserve all the GRACE God gives me EACH DAY OF THE YEAR!
I CHOOSE when it’s hard, when I don’t want to, when it isn’t always easy because I don’t want to be a Christmas Hater anymore.
I don’t want to give that kind of power to someone who chose to hurt instead of heal, hates instead of loves, and whose goal was to ruin instead of making people grow.
As I write this, I’m surrounded by peace, not knowing what this Christmas season holds, but I have FAITH in the God of all Grace who sent His OWN son to save us all.
God is a good father, and I want to remember to celebrate for the right reasons, no matter what circumstances are in my life. They are always changing, but my God stays the same.
I know Christmas can be hard. BELIEVE me, I get it. I’ve been there and I’ve raised my fist in defiance and told God that I was Christmas Hater!
But Thank God for Christmas Grace, for Saving Grace, for Extended Grace…
He turned this Christmas Hater into a Christmas Lover… and He can do the same for you. It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth the journey.
Until next time, may God’s grace surround you,