Friday, December 18, 2015

What If I Don't Feel Festive?

Holiday Blues, Not Feeling Festive, Loss of Joy

What if I don’t feel festive at the holidays?

Has that thought ever crossed your mind? We’re about a week from Christmas, and frankly, during some (ok, many, recent) years at this time there have been days I didn’t feel very festive either. Sometimes life has a way of dragging us down, especially around the holidays.

I’ve talked with my friends over the past few years and some of them have shared that they have days, sometimes even a whole holiday season, when they just don’t feel festive. They don’t feel like celebrating Christmas, like having a party, like seeing their family, like decorating the house or sending cards,  like . . . [insert your Christmas tradition here.] The reasons are varied, and to protect the not-so-innocent of our families and co-workers, I’ll mix their reasons in with some of the ones I’ve endured in my adult life. You might recognize some of these un-jolly reasons yourself: death of loved one near the holidays, being laid-off or under-employed during the year, miserable weather, family squabbles, plumbing problems, sick children,  pettiness amongst your co-workers, depression, lack of time to see your family.

Do any of these resonate with you? You are not alone. There are a whole host of reasons why you might not feel festive at the holidays. What matters most is not what has you down, but what you do about it. Are you asking  God to help you separate the reasons you don’t feel festive from the head and heart knowledge of WHY we celebrate Christmas?!?

Celebrating Christ’s at Christmas isn’t about our happiness, it is about our JOY. We need to realize that our enemy wants nothing more than to rob us of the joy we have in Christ! When we lose our joy, we don’t live a humble, yet victorious, life of glorifying Jesus. 

So how do we make ourselves joyful again? Simply put - we don’t. 

Joy is a gift that Christ lavishes on us when we spend time in His presence. We can’t find or create it artificially with things ~ that is just a happy feeling. What we need is to spend time with God, reading and thinking about Christ’s birth, His death, and His resurrection. When we are once again overwhelmed by His great mercy at the sacrifice He gave in our place ~ Then joy comes! 

When we get our minds off of the temporal troubles we’re facing, and put our eyes back on Jesus, we see life in a whole new perspective. Get out your Bible, read about the angels coming to tell the world of Christ’s birth through some shepherds, read about how John prepared the way for Christ’s ministry, read about the crucifixion, and then His resurrection. When we remember the whole story, that the death and resurrection of Christ could not have happened without His birth, we find that God grants us peace, joy, and love for others. 

When I realize once again how great was Christ’s sacrifice, for me, a sinner, I am overwhelmed with joy. 

I am praying that you will find your joy again in the baby in the manger Who grew up to be our King!

Break out those Christmas Carols ~ we have a reason to sing! Joy to the World!

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