Post Christmas stress disorder

It happened again.

Or, at least I thought it did. I was driving home from my parents the other night, and fat snowflakes were swirling across the road under a dark sky flashing in front of my headlights.

I got the distinct feeling that I missed Christmas.

I didn’t MISS it miss it. I’ve had four Christmas celebrations. But the past few days have felt fast, busy, and full. I don’t mean that in a bad way. I’ve had some fabulous time with family….great meals, caught a good movie, went to church, had some good chats. But that quiet, reflective feeling I get when I wake up in the morning before everyone else or when I am sitting in church Christmas Eve and I forget about the gifts and the baking and the dinners…I missed it.

This thought made me sad. Christmas only comes once a year, and sometimes I fear that as an adult, I watch the magic diminish a little more each year. I start to feel like I should have started earlier on making gifts, should have done a better job, should have had more dinner parties, made more cookies with even more sprinkles, FOR HEAVEN’S SAKES.

So as I was lamenting these losses,  I flipped on my radio. I was surprised to find Air1 was still playing Christmas music. An original, acoustic Christmas song was playing, and I immediately felt peace settle over me. I felt a deep sense of comfort, and I let the feeling wash over me as I listened to the song.

That’s when I realized that I didn’t miss it. The beauty of what Christmas is all about is that it’s worth celebrating every day of the year. I can think about Christ’s birth…His love…His sacrifice…His presence in my life RIGHT NOW…anytime. I can let that truth sink in, I can let it overshadow the stress, I can let it calm my heart in the middle of a chaotic week, and I can live into the joy that comes from having a firm place to land no matter what is happening in life around you.

And that is such a relief…

A heart at peace gives life to the body…   Proverbs 14:30

“I have told you these things,
so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

 John 16:33


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