It’s been understandably hard for me to get into the Christmas spirit this year. Work, for me, has been tough, unfulfilling and emotionally exhausting. Ryan and I are still settling into the pace of married life. And, it just kind of snuck up on me to be honest. We had that whole wedding thing going on… 😉 Add to it that we as a nation are in a crippling economy and Ryan and I are in our own personal financial recovery, and it leaves little to go around for the holidays.

Last year I was making Christmas cards in September, singing Christmas music about the same time and had ALL of my shopping done by Thanksgiving Day. This year… is a different story. I got used to living in my parents house and enjoying a vast collection of Christmas décor that filled the house each year. I realize now how blessed I was to have a mom that longed to make Christmas special for our family and turned our house into what looked like a Hallmark store of décor. Just gorgeous! I, on the other hand, have one small box of Christmas décor that equals one tacky wreath from the dollar store, about 4 Christmas ornaments, a few random candle holders and that’s about it. With money being tight, I don’t have the heart or means to go and spend on Christmas decorations and where would I even begin?! I can’t fill the house with red and green, so do I even bother picking up a few things?

While driving home from work yesterday, I happened upon a FedEx truck with a strand of gold and green garland wrapped around his side view mirror and I smiled. I doubt that was a mandate from their corporate office. I think that truck driver just made a decision to bring a little bit of Christmas with him to work each day and I admire that. I think this Christmas is going to be different for Ryan and in a wonderful way. Too often, people get swept up in the trees, lights, decorations, cards and presents and even people of faith tend to forget the reason for all this celebration. I think God may be BLESSING us by taking away the means to spend on all of the decorum of Christmas… and in that way, is allowing us to focus on the incredible gift of our Savior’s birth. Honestly, what is better than that? Though there are pangs in my heart for the smell of evergreen to fill the house and I will miss piling up presents to wrap in brightly colored paper and bows, I will also gladly rejoice for a God that has blessed my husband and I incredibly this year.

In all I think and say and do,
I long, O God, to honor You;
But may my highest motive be
To love the Christ who died for me. —D. De Haan


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