I know it’s August and you’re probably wondering why I am posting about Christmas Eve and that I am even worse than your local craft store but just hear me out.
Today my brother posted on Instagram, “How early is too early to start listening to Last Christmas by Wham? Asking for a friend.” His post made me laugh and then I immediately started listening to my Christmas playlist. Again, please don’t freak out. When I was listening to it I started to think about how the season of Christmas is so great and really is the best time of year. I thought of how Christmas Eve is my favorite day of all because it’s leading up to Christmas. I love Christmas day but even as a child I would get so excited for the gifts that I was getting or the perfect gift I got for someone else but then I would have this dreaded feeling that would come over me after the last gift was opened, the wrapping paper was stuffed in the trash (unless you had a mother like mine that was collecting all the salvageable things for the next year), the tree skirt lay empty, and everyone went off with the new gifts they received. After all this was said and done I always had this feeling that would wash over me that made me sad and I had no idea why. As I got older I was able to understand that feeling was that I wasn’t satisfied. The amazing Christmas gift that I thought would be my all… was not.
I think the time leading up to Christmas is the very best time. All your family is together, lights are everywhere you look, family and friends get together just because, you eat good meals, and you appreciate your time together because you know that after Christmas is over everyone is going to go back to there house and life.
The anticipation I would feel on Christmas Eve was sometimes the very best part. I would get to sleep in my brother’s room (he would often have to tell me to go to sleep over and over again), I got to wear new pajamas, we had a family dinner, we went to church at night to thank our Savior for coming to the earth for us, we sang hymns by candlelight, and most importantly we were together. Over the years I feel that Christmas Eve is the very part for it’s not about the gifts. I think we have a great longing for something and are often trying to fill that void that is meant for something else. We fill it with gifts, busywork, hobbies, and pretty much anything we can buy. As a child I understood that I had this void but I thought that it would be filled on Christmas day by the really cool shoes I got or on my birthday when I was finally double digits.
I recently read the book, Conversations with C.S. Lewis by Robert Velarde. In the book C.S. Lewis says to Tom, “In some ways my imagination satisfied—but only in brief glimpses of joy—my desire and longing for something outer and other. In German this feeling of longing is sometimes called Sehnsucht, which is similar in some ways to what one might call nostalgia, but it is much more and much deeper. It is really a longing or desire for the transcendent—for God, for heaven, for the country we were really made for… our true home.”
This made me think of all the times that I looked so forward to Christmas and when it came and gone I thought maybe that was not what I was looking forward to. This has happened to me over and over again with big exciting things I was looking forward to and then finding out it did not satisfy me longer than a few moments, days, or weeks.
All this to say we will never be truly satisfied on this earth because this earth is not our home. That longing and desire we feel that we so often put towards exciting things is not meant for this earth but heaven.
So, beginning in August already have that Christmas Eve state of mind. That mindset that it’s about being together, loving each other, and worshiping our King. Let your life be the longest Christmas Eve because Christmas day is not about the gifts but really that moment when He calls us home. Maybe this will make it easier to empty the online shopping cart you had waiting or the long list of things you wanted and know that this void can only be filled by Jesus.
I encourage you to live today and the rest of your days like you are getting ready for a big Christmas day, the one where you get to see Jesus face to face.
Until next time,
P.S. I have attached the link to Neema Village. The home for the cute babies pictured above. I am going in January to volunteer and would love to have your support during that time. Please click the link to learn more about Neema Village… The best place on earth. http://www.neemavillage.org