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You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch

A love for Christmas is my personal brand. More than once I have decorated before Halloween and other years I have decorated on Halloween, eager to usher in as much Christmas cheer as early as possible. This began long before I had kids; but I was eager to share this passion with them and develop new traditions.

We married three days after Christmas and our wedding reception was festively adorned with holly and Christmas centerpieces. We have an entire large closet in our basement dedicated to tubs and tubs of seasonal decorations and Christmas trees (6? 7? I can’t remember).

But this year…I just can’t.

Even before it became clear that my aunt wouldn’t live to celebrate with us this year, I just couldn’t summon up the energy to decorate. The week before Halloween, Tim asked what day we would bring the decorations upstairs (it’s a big enough job that we schedule a day for it). I demurred. In mid-November he asked again, and I straight up responded that I didn’t want to do it at all this year.

I wasn’t counting on a certain four-year-old who has been conditioned to love Christmas. God used Harry’s genuinely child-like joy to nudge (okay, more like badger) me into putting up the tree and digging out one set of stockings. Once the tree was up and lit, he shrieked and literally jumped up and down with joy. My icy heart thawed a little.

Twice this week I declared, “I just want Christmas to be over.” Once it was in anger and once in sadness. Maybe this is how you feel every year. And if so, I see you.

Whether you are grieving a loved one, a family situation, the loss of a relationship, or an uncomfortable transition, I wish you survival skills to get through the next few days. I hope you find peace and joy–but if you don’t, just remember that peace and joy aren’t time-limited. They don’t have to arrive by December 25. They are year-round states of being. So if we need to just survive this week and choose joy later, that’s okay, too. Jesus knew sadness and I’m pretty sure He is fine with us being under the weather for His birthday party.

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