Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Celebrating The Reason

This year I prepared to do battle against the annual funk that commandeers my heart in December. But for the first time in 16 years it never made its appearance.

Maybe it did but focusing on serving those in need stole the limelight from my holiday doldrums. It took four weeks of teamwork to organize the Kababayan Unite fundraiser that helped raise funds for Typhoon Haiyan victims in the Philippines.

Those four weeks taught me that serving others is the weaponry I needed to keep the suffocating funk at bay. Nothing in my annual routine changed other than that because my vows to stash money in a Christmas fund were never fulfilled.

Despite my lack of saving Christmas money, my dad’s hospitalization a week before Christmas, and my granddaughter’s absence during Christmas and her New Year’s Day birthday, I haven’t forgotten the reason for the holiday season.

My faith in Jesus has sustained me this month especially during times of overwhelming stress. His presence was the solid ground I walked on when my dad’s condition worsened and we didn’t think he’d leave the hospital in time for Christmas. It’s my trust in Christ that is helping me with the excruciating pain of missing Rylee who, for the first time in five years, is spending Christmas Day and her New Year’s birthday with her daddy in Arizona.

It’s knowing that God will provide which stops the worrying over bills threatening to drown me this month. Surrendering my life to him, leaves my heart open to my granddaughter's demands for keeping Kost 103.5 on my car radio until after Christmas “because they play Christmas music all the time.” (Please note: Kost 103.5 + Christmas music equaled an outbreak of hives on my body.)

Although I will never understand the injustice of human trafficking, homelessness, disease, wars, infertility, and genocide, I hold onto the faith that God is in the midst of this fallen world. 

This Christmas Eve, I celebrate with gratitude my savior's birth, because Jesus freed me from my self-imposed mental prison. 

Just like the Grinch I realized Christmas is much more than the frenetic, angst-ridden, last minute shopping I'm guilty of every year. 
“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

The pictures above and below contain the meaning for my Christmas. From my family to yours, may you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!