Not two posts ago my writing was overflowing with joy and bouncing with Christmas energy. Now, I’m staring at a pile of Christmas cards to sign and stamp; another pile of Christmas presents that need wrapped. My favorite Christmas music station has made me turn off the radio entirely, and when I drive through the neighborhood at night, the beautiful Christmas lights don’t remind me of Christmas magic but are glittering symbols of hard labor and increased electricity bills.
Last year, I started counting down to Christmas the day after, and listened to nothing but jingle-y songs and round Christmas tree rock.
This year I won’t even put up a tree.
Why should I be happier when the temperature is low, and bills are high?
When did I become a Scrooge?
Why should I give presents to show my friends I care about them? Isn’t that what birthdays are for? Should I give a present every month, just in case they forget that I care?
I waited 11 months for Christmas to come. And now, when it’s five days away, I’m less happy than I was when I waited for it.
But maybe, just maybe, that’s my problem…
I expected to have time to cuddle with my boyfriend, sip hot cocoa, and watch Christmas movies. But what I got was late nights spent working.
I expected to have enough money to get everyone an amazing gift they’d love. But what I got was nearly maxed out cards that nearly broke the bank when I paid them off for gifts that were only slightly better than average.
I expected to be in a good mood. But what I got was…
I’m sure it’s my expectations that, well, ruined Christmas before it even started. My focus shifted from celebrating a savior, to satisfying latest trends…
And I’m not sure how to switch it back. But when this song came on the radio, I nearly cried. Perhaps, that holds the secret to finding joy despite all the difficulties we face this season.
Karianne is the founder of Windmill Ways. She plays the cello professionally and currently works as an Art Director for a charity. Because she loves animated shows and movies, she studies 3D animation and graduated with a BFA with the unfortunate class of 2020. Her dream vacation would be just staying home, but "home" being a glamorous cabin somewhere in the mountains surrounded by forest.
Favorite band: Lord Huron
Favorite book: This Present Darkness
Favorite quote: "Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail." Proverbs 19:20-21 (NLT)
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