Diana Nesbitt

Always Go Deeper

Why It’s Okay If This Isn’t The Best Christmas Ever

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It’s inevitable. You’re innocently watching a Christmas movie. Something has just happened to heighten the anticipation for the yearly celebration, and somebody throws their arms into the air and exclaims “This is going to be the best Christmas ever!” I don’t know what your reaction to such a display is, but when I hear that I want to throw my head back and let out a Charlie Brown-sized “AAAAAUUGGHHHH!!!!!”, the writer within me cringing with disgust at the unfortunately common use of a clichè as stale as Granny’s fruitcake.

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The stockings were hung by the chimney with care in the hopes that Christmas would be perfect this year…

As clichè as the words may be, however, the sentiment is not.  At Christmas, more than any other time of year, there is a high level of anticipation. Part of this adds to the enjoyment of the holiday, and part of it also reflects the true celebration of the season very accurately -after all, the point of Christmas is to celebrate the coming of the long-awaited Messiah, and also to look forward to His second coming to earth. But somehow as the deadline draws nearer and the holiday to-do list grows, instead of focusing on the long-term things we are waiting for, our gaze drops and we find our focus drifting to the immediate future: December 25th. Somehow, with help from the movies, of course, the desire to have a magical, memorable Christmas wriggles its way into our hearts. We feel the pressure it places on us to carry out the special traditions, buy the perfect gifts, bake the most delicious cookies, and all the while working ourselves into “the Christmas spirit”.

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A delicate hope

However, there is a certain level of danger in such anticipation, because there’s no guarantee that our expectations for the perfect Christmas will be met. There’s a lot that could shrivel our hopes for the best Christmas ever: someone might get sick and not be well enough to carry out the special traditions, that perfect Christmas gift might get lost in the mail, or the cookies might burn. Even though we know better than to hang our hopes for a holly jolly Christmas on the mantle alongside our stockings, we still get caught up in the “Christmas spirit” and burn ourselves out trying to get it all done. And if we wake up on Christmas morning and find our stocking filled with less than everything we hoped for, boom. Instant blue Christmas.

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The first Christmas didn’t meet people’s expectations, either.

From the nature of the Old Testament prophecies about Christ, the majority of Israelites were expecting Jesus to come as a powerful leader who would free them from the political oppression they were under.  They couldn’t believe it when the One who claimed to be the promised Savior came in the form of a helpless baby, the son of a poor carpenter, from a town whose reputation was so humble that one of Jesus’ disciples said “Can anything good come from there?” So they crucified Him for blasphemy, not realizing that this One who was not what they expected had the power to exceed their wildest dreams.

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What makes the best Christmas ever?

The best Christmas ever was just over 2,000 years ago when the promised Messiah humbled Himself and came to earth as a baby to be Immanuel, God with us.  He came as the Light that the darkness could not overcome, full of truth and grace. He came to bridge the gap between God and man and make it possible for us to have peace with our Creator and a bright future in heaven. The perfect place to hang your hopes for the best Christmas ever is not a Christmas tree, but a cross. Hope in Jesus is hope without danger, for He will never fail us. {tweet that}

So if you’re sitting amidst a pile of presents trying to figure out how to make them look halfway decent and nothing is working out like you’d hoped (this is the voice of experience speaking), just breathe and let the pressure roll away. The best Christmas ever already happened, and all we have to do to celebrate it in style is to remember the One who came and rejoice in the greatest Christmas gift of all time: Jesus.

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4 Comments

  1. Beautiful post, Diana. And yes, the best Christmas happened over 2000 years ago bringing us the best gift of all time.

    Blessings and Merry Christmas to you.

  2. Pam Stothers Van Alstyne

    December 24, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    God-given insights, thanks for sharing… So true!

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