In 2000, there was a live action remake of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Honestly, I prefer the original cartoon or the remake in 2018. The best part of that 2000 film, in my opinion, was the hit “Where Are You Christmas?” You can read about the origin of the song at https://www.wideopencountry.com/faith-hill-where-are-you-christmas/. The video below plays the whole song, and I am only including a few lyrics.
Where are you Christmas
Why can’t I find you
Why have you gone away
Where is the laughter
You used to bring me
Why can’t I hear music play
My world is changing
Does that mean Christmas changes too
I have been in a season of growing and changing. Hopefully, we are all growing and learning all the time and not staying stagnant. However, with change comes some grief and challenges. While I am thankful I am not the same as I was a year ago, there is also a releasing that is necessary. For example, I am no longer saying “yes” to everything. In fact, I am trying to be more intentional about saying “no.” No, I don’t want to leave my house past sundown. No, I don’t want to shop. No, I don’t feel good about giving gifts to all those on my list who truthfully have too much, when there are so many in need of basics. No, I don’t want to participate in Christmas/seasonal activities that we have in years past. No, I am not planning to go to church on Christmas Day. No, I will not work during Advent/Christmas this year. Saying no feels good and is right, but it means I am having to give up on all those things I used to say yes to doing during the holidays.
My girls are older. Their Christmas expectations have changed. They had trouble coming up with anything for Christmas lists. While I am thankful their wish lists are short, I am also aware that they are very spoiled and have more than they need. I am too. What I need can’t be purchased.
I find myself asking Where are you Christmas? Where is my joyful spirit? Where is the fun in finding gifts that I used to have? When did it become a chore? (Full disclosure: Gift giving has never been my gift.) Why didn’t I want to decorate this year? Why did I choose to keep some ornaments in their boxes? Why does my teen have to lecture me on why watching all my favorite Christmas specials annually is “excessive?” Where is the desire to make plans? Where is my desire to attend worship?
Christmas is here
Christmas is here
If you care, oh
If there is love in your heart and your mind
You will feel like Christmas all the time
Maybe I have been too busy searching for all the external parts of Christmas. Maybe the transformation I have made has changed Christmas, and maybe that is not a bad thing. Maybe we celebrate Christmas differently this year, and that is ok. We have certainly had one-off Christmases in the past. Every year has not been a duplicate, based on if we have any family here or not. Then there was the chemo Christmas, where I made it through Christmas morning before the steroids wore off, and I had to go back to bed. That’s not a Christmas I prefer to repeat! Nor was the Christmas I had the flu.
While I may not feel the joy of Christmas yet, I will focus instead on the love. I love everyone on my Christmas list, and giving gifts is one way to show that love. I loved watching my youngest decorating the tree, because it is one of her favorite parts of Christmas. I love how my oldest manages the daily countdown to Christmas. I love looking at the ornaments and remembering the origin of each one. I love opening Christmas cards, and I even love designing ours, and the assembly line the girls and I have for preparing to mail them.
I am going to keep saying yes to those things that fill my introverted, homebody self happy. I will try to keep saying no to all those obligations that don’t feel right this year. Every day on the calendar does not have to be full of Christmas activities. It is ok if this year all our memories are at home. I hope the joy of Christmas eventually comes, but if it does not, that is ok too. I will focus on the love.