Not Feeling Christmasy?
Remember Christmas in 5 Ways



(This is a repost from Christmas 2011, but I thought it bears repeating). 

A friend of mine posted on Facebook that
 he was not feeling very Christmas-y. 

I replied, 
"Define Christmas-y."

I'm not trying to discount his feelings.  What I mean is,  


"What makes you feel like it's Christmas?"

When we don't feel Christmasy it's because we're comparing our "now" with some memory from the past or some image that's presented in society.  And often it doesn't measure up.   Sometimes we have real reasons that we're feeling the Christmas blues.  Maybe we're lonely or depressed.  Maybe we're overwhelmed and harried.

Many years ago, when my son who has autism was small, I had to adjust my views of Christmas.  In my growing up, Christmas was about a big toy opening fest on Christmas Day.  I thought I would bring that to my family tradition when I had kids.  But my son at the time had no interest in toys.  So shopping for Christmas presents was painful.  It highlighted that the path we were traveling was a different one, and I didn't know the way.  Sometimes I still feel that twinge when I walk the toy aisles.  Going to Christmas events was either impossible or very hard when my son was young.  My husband and I spent quite a few family Christmas parties off in another room sitting under a blanket with my son, who was completely overwhelmed   I was sad during this time.  And I felt lonely.  This wasn't the expected path.   I had to come to terms that the Christmas season for us was going to be different from what I had envisioned  It wouldn't be a recreation of my childhood Christmases.


Here's the manger scene 
as set up by our son with autism....
I'm not changing it. 



Yesterday I saw a friend at the grocery store who wasn't going to be able to do all the things that Christmas brings because of a busy work schedule.  My suggestion to her?

Pick 5 Things to Do

Pick 5 things to do that if you don't do them it doesn't feel like Christmas.  And forget the rest.  That list will be different for everyone.

Here's our list:
  1. Get a Christmas tree and decorate it as a family.
  2. Listen to and sing Christmas carols.  Pandora.com is great for this.  Type in your favorite Christmas carol, your favorite artist and listen to lots of wonderful Christmas songs.  
  3. Hang lights.   This year we hung some colored outdoor lights that remind me of the giant ones that used to hang at Granddad's house when I was very small.
  4. Make cookies and/or cinnamon dough ornaments.
  5. Read the biblical Christmas story at Bible Gateway.   Matthew 1:18-25; Matthew 2:1-12; Luke 1:26-38; Luke 2:1-20.  
Of course, there's more.  I didn't put presents in, and we do that.   But you get the idea.  Make a list that is YOUR list of what preparing for Christmas means.  For some people, it means putting up 12 Christmas trees around their house.   For others, it means volunteering.   

Accept Your Un-Christmasy Feelings    

Accept that in this year, you may feel like the tired shepherds away in the fields working the graveyard shift.  You may feel like Joseph trying to find a place for his family to sleep in a strange city. Or like Mary, waiting and wondering what is to come.  Perhaps you're the harried innkeeper trying to wedge in another paying customer.  Or maybe you are like old Simeon and Anna, who had been waiting a long, long time for the birth of the promised Messiah.

Christmas still came for all of those people,
despite how they were feeling. 




8 comments:

  1. My daughter is the tradition-bound one of our family--she insists on doing certain things every years, no matter what. Some of her traditions (which movie we watch on Christmas Eve, for example) have stuck with us, so even with all our family far away, we have a Christmas-y feeling.

    Hope your friend has a joyful Christmas in his own way...

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  2. Thanks, Jan. Our Christmas tree is leaning a little already but we are going to have a good season anyway! I just cleaned the kitchen of all the remnants of cooking and now I'm going to do some doll sculpting. Then I'm going to put a cloth over cover on one of my sculpts. :-)

    Dixie

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  3. Thank you Dixie. It's a different year for us as well. I love Alex' placement of the nativity. Great suggestion to your friend at the store, listing 5 important things. Thank you for sharing this for our "mutual" friend. He's singing a beautiful song tomorrow with another "mutual" friend (V)!! I'm glad he's able to share through song even though he's not feeling very Christmas-y. Take care, and have a blessed Christmas. K

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  4. Thankyou so much for this, makes me think a little. I think we are so primed to have the Norman Rockwell Christmas that we don't stop to realize that Gods will will be done no matter how we feel. I appreciate your Christian witness.

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  5. Dixie I really enjoyed this post. I have often wondered just how difficult it must have been for Mary and Joseph. They certainly were on another path and they were displaced and refugees the first few years of Jesus life. So all of us who feel a bit unsettled or on another path during Christmas perhaps that is the tradition. I loved Alex's setting of the manger it brought me a smile.

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  6. Oh my gosh that nativity just makes me SMILE!

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  7. Dixie although I read all you post I don't believe I've ever commented, just not something that comes easily for me. However, this particular post really reached out to me. It's been a difficult year for my family in more ways than one, I have not, as your friend stated "been feeling very Christmas-y" this year either. But, after reading your post I am going to take your great suggestion of listing a few things to do and run with it! My heart feels lighter already. Merry Christmas to you & yours! Ani in NC

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    Replies
    1. Oh, I am so glad! Feeling lighter is the point of Christmas!

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I'm so glad you visited and it is fun to read your comments. It helps me know what you think is interesting. :-)


"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden




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