I realized today that I have hardly made any mention of Christmas this year. This is something that is very uncommon for me, but as I reflect a bit on it I realize that my love for the Christmas season has dwindled throughout the years.
It's not that I don't still love the things that surround the season - the beautiful lights, the festive music, the gatherings with loved ones...and yes, the presents too. And it's certainly not that I don't appreciate the real reason we celebrate Christmas - Jesus' birthday.
But I seem to have lost my "it" factor when it comes to this time of year.
I remember being so happy during the Christmas season. I used to start playing my music the day after Thanksgiving (Canadian Thanksgiving that is, which means around the 2nd week of October). My Christmas socks would make their appearance at the first snowfall. And when I worked at a computer company in my late teens/early twenties I was even known as "The Christmas Countdown Chick" where I would email a large group of my co-workers every day in December with Christmas quotes, quizzes, even a scavenger hunt. Yes, the love of Christmas was as much a part of me as my love of Pepsi! Everyone who knew me knew that I was definitely into Christmas.
But yesterday evening (Christmas Day), I caught myself thinking: "When did Christmas get so depressing?"
It's exhausting. It's overwhelming. It's too busy. It always comes with someone being sick (not necessarily right on Christmas Day, but definitely right around the season). It's too dark. There's too much of a mess afterwards to clean up all of the clutter.
I didn't used to always feel that way about this time of year. But lately - this year in particular - I find myself struggling to see the light and joy of Christmas. Yes, I know the greatest light we could ever hope for shone down on us when Jesus was born in the manger. And I know that along with that came the greatest gift 30-some years later when he died on the cross to save us from our sins and give us eternal salvation.
I know all of that. I know I should feel nothing but joy and gratitude.
But instead I just feel sad. And I wonder when I will get back my zest for this special time of year