I can sympathize with this poor cat. Especially this year. We go through all the motions of dressing our houses with lights and decorations. We shop (this year online) until we drop. We plan limited gatherings with no more than ten people. In the midst of a pandemic, it’s easy for us to all shout, “Bah, humbug.”
Why is it that those who normally are pretty well-adjusted, fall into moments of depression during the holidays? A time that should be filled with joy and excitement has turned into one filled with fear of exposing oneself to a deadly virus. A year of isolation hasn’t really taught us much, has it?
The world’s view of Christmas has turned it into a festival of overindulgence – interacting with people we don’t necessarily like – spending more money than we have – trying to impress with our gifts – putting on our Christmas clothes and a happy face. We’ve also self-inflicted emotions like sadness, impatience, anger, fear, worry and being overwhelmed.
You may have nostalgic memories of happy Christmases of your youth. You can’t seem to make that happen for your young family. You may have recently lost a love or suffered from a broken relationship. Your every day is filled with time drainers, like baking cookies, buying presents, spiffing up the house, making travel arrangements and dreading seeing a relative that wronged you in some way.
You address cards, spend money on special family photo sessions and postage. You try to schedule time for every event, dinner, festival, but just can’t do it all. You want to get the perfect gift. Extra calories are consumed. You’re tired, tempers flare, you feel incompetent.
You may be facing a serious illness, a grieving time, worry, anxious moments. Maybe you just got laid off and your in that “unemployable” age group, or you’ve been replaced by one who they can pay less. You aren’t looking forward to all the bills that will fill your mailbox in January. Your heartstrings are being plucked by confusion and the unknown. Your kids have so much sugar flowing through their veins, that their focus is comparable to that of a gnat. None of this paints a lovely picture of comfort and joy.
Yet in the middle of our anxiety, God has chosen to give us the greatest gift of all – eternal life. This year should make that even more apparent. We have had opportunities that we might never have again. Innovation has caused people to learn how to use the tools at hand to make life doable. Creativity is coming out in brand new ways. In spite of all the crime and hatred, He has kept us safe. In spite of political division and unrest, He has kept us united. In spite of a disease that speeds across the land, He has provided technology whereby a vaccine is now available. In spite of ourselves and our anger and frustration, He is always there to hold us and give us His unconditional love.
The Prince of Peace came to earth in the form of a helpless little child. He lived a sinless life and became the unblemished Lamb of God so that we could inherit His kingdom. Instead of “bah, humbug,” we can sing, “Halleluiah,” with confidence.