By Friday I reached my breaking point.
For a couple of weeks I’ve been writing about my perfect-imperfect Christmas and the renovations that are taking place inside my household just days before Christmas.
I’ve written about how I’ve made the choice to embrace the mess, the clutter. How I’ve chosen not to let the fact that my sister and her family aren’t coming home for Christmas or the fact that my mom and dad are about to move south shortly after the Holidays, steal my joy.
And for the most part I’ve followed through with each of these choices, but on Friday? On Friday I hit a wall. On Friday I realized that in the midst of all I’ve done to set my gaze on a Christmas that is all about Jesus and his take-on-flesh love for me, I still have this drive, this deep-seeded desire for a perfect Christmas.
When push comes to shove and I’m pressed and pulled this is what I want.
“Urghhhhhhhh.” I wrote in a text message to my friend, Amanda, who has been my tether to God in the midst of this storm.
“I don’t like that kind of text!” She wrote back. “Look at the snow. Breathe!!”
Thank goodness for a friend who knows my heart, that can steer me in the right direction. Amanda knows how much I love the snow. Her wise advice reminded me to calm down and focus on the blessings around me.
Taking her advice, I peered out my window at the cotton ball flakes floating down. And as I stood and watched in the still, in the quiet, I heard him whisper, “Take heart, dearest, your Christmas can’t be ruined.”
Your Christmas can’t be ruined.
This is truth, sweet friends. Gospel truth, in fact.
Your Christmas can’t be ruined.
I adore these lines from The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,
…’They’re finding out now that no Christmas is coming!
‘They’re just waking up! I know just what they’ll do!
‘Their mouths will hang open a minute or two
‘Then the Whos down in Who-ville will all cry BOO-HOO!
‘That’s a noise,’ grinned the Grinch,
‘That I simply MUST hear!’
So he paused. And the Grinch put his hand to his ear.
And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.
It started in low. Then it started to grow…
But the sound wasn’t sad!
Why, this sound sounded merry!
It couldn’t be so!
But it WAS merry! VERY!
He stared down at Who-ville!
The Grinch popped his eyes!
Then he shook!
What he saw was a shocking surprise!
Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small,
Was singing! Without any presents at all!
He HADN’T stopped Christmas from coming!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
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 three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
‘Maybe Christmas, he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
‘Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!’” (From The Grinch Who Stole Christmas)
Isn’t this the very truth of Christmas that it always comes, that Christmas is always perfect, because Christmas celebrates a Savior who has been coming for us since the very first breath of time?
In the garden…
In the manger…
On the cross…
The Savior comes to ransom his beloved.
To ransom me.
To ransom you.
This is why Christmas can’t be ruined.
No matter what is happening in your life today, or in the midst of your Holiday season…
No matter what threatens to ruin, or fail, or steal your peace, your joy, your Christmas…
No matter the family missing from around the tree…
No matter the gifts unsought, unwrapped…
The cookies unbaked…
The lights unstrung…
No matter the bills unpaid…
The wounds unhealed…
The relationships still broken…
Our Savior comes and because he comes our Christmas can’t be ruined.
He came as a baby to the manger.
He came as a Savior to the cross.
He’s coming, still, like a lover for his bride.
And he’s coming this Christmas to fill your home, to fill your life, to fill your heart with his manger-to-cross-to wedding feast love.
Christmas comes and will not delay. What could possibly be more perfect?
So look at the snow.
Look at the manger.
Look at the love of our Savior cast all around…
In childhood laughter…
In Christmas lights…
In the sound of bells ringing out true love…