Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hang onto the Warmth

The Christmas holiday has passed, but the warm memories remain.

The other night as I tucked in my preschooler, she smiled. "Wanna know what I was just thinking about?"


"How much you love me."

That'll bring a smile to your face and warm up your heart.

It's important to remember how much we are loved, especially if we're in the crash of post-holiday cheer. What we're craving at Christmas isn't a gift. It's what we think we want, but in fact, what we're truly, deeply hoping for is something to fill the void inside. That's why we shop and hope and hint. But even if we get the gadget we longed for, we may find there is a hollowness in the experience.

Then what?

There have been lots of changes this year for our extended family's Christmas celebration. Usually we travel out of state. Not this year. A relationship changed so we won't see a certain member of the family this year. One beloved grandparent is in the hospital, so we won't see her. No snow. (For some of us this is important. I say it's important if you don't have to drive in it. :) But there is one constant. We have to hang onto the one constant in order to not be disappointed.

That constant? Jesus.

Keeping our gaze fixed on the heart of Christmas--the true celebration--will keep us anchored in the ups and downs, the disappointments, the missing of family members who aren't with us. That's the key.

And remembering how much we are loved by God and family and friends will bring a smile, helping fill up that void inside with joy and peace. That's how we'll hang onto the warmth even as the Christmas season fades.

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