Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Thrill of Hope

I have never been one of those people that goes crazy over the Holiday season. I didn't see Elf until 3 years ago. There was a 9 year stretch where I didn't even put up a tree in my apartment. I was a self proclaimed Scrooge and rather proud of it. I blamed it on working too many years in retail, but if I am being honest, my distaste for Christmas started long before I filled out my first I-9.

When you are a kid, Thanksgiving to New Year is full of magical expectation. The air seems heavy with excitement and happiness.  Nothing could go wrong because it was Christmas time. Then, you grow up and you realize that those expectations are never fully met (at least for me they weren't). I'm not talking about material expectations. It's more that you realize there is still pain in the world even though the calendar reads December 25. That realization came much earlier for me than most.  My grandfather passed away when I was 8 years old. It was just me and my mom after that. We would exchange a few gifts in the morning and go to a friends house if we were invited.  There were no traditions, no excitement, It seemed like any other day to me for the longest time.  

Then, 18 years later, I married Dean. He reads Charles Dickens's  A Christmas Carol every year. His family has 3 days of Christmas celebrations starting Christmas Eve. Our first Christmas as a married couple he insisted on going to Hobby Lobby and purchasing an exorbitant amount of Christmas decorations. Slowly, my tiny Grinch heart started to grow and I hated Christmas less and less.

Than this Christmas came. Having a baby makes a lot of things different. I knew this Christmas would be different, I just expected a different kind of different. I expected that I would want to be into Christmas for Paisley. I expected I would spoil her with millions of toys and clothes, but that is not what happened. In fact, I didn't even wrap one of her 4 gifts. What was different was my understanding of Christmas. What I didn't understand when I was 8, or 18, or even 26 was all the times I was let down by unmet expectations I was missing the point. Christmas isn't about meeting expectations.  It's about the thrill of hope that allows weary hearts to rejoice over the birth of our savior.  This world may be broken and scary right now.  There may not seem like there is much to rejoice over.  But I believe that is not going to last.  This world is not my home, as the old lady in the wooden church pew used to say.

1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful Katie. Keep writing! Totally made me tear up as I read it while rocking JD to sleep. Merry Christmas :)