Monday, 24 December 2012

Loss in spirit; Gain in Spirit

This weekend has my internal clock all messed up! I’ve done so well since coming home from the hospital at being in bed by a decent time. However, Friday night we had a braai with our parents and I only got home after midnight and then on Saturday we had a braai with friends at our house. Again, I was in bed after midnight.

So now it is Sunday and after 10 pm and I still cannot sleep.

I’m surely going to regret this! Lil Mister does not sleep past 5:30am very often and I highly doubt karma is so kind as to let it be tomorrow that he does! ;-)

It doesn’t help that I only got Lil Mister to sleep 15 minutes ago and I figure based on LJ’s last feed he should be awake in the next 15 minutes again. are my best friend these days!

I’m still in shock that it is already Christmas. Yes, I realize it is still another day away, but really!

This will be my fourth Christmas in South Africa, but I can’t seem to find the spirit anymore. It hasn’t felt like Christmas since I moved here.

As I sit looking at our Christmas tree, I’m taken back to all the years spent celebrating with my family.

I miss the cold weather. I remember tracking through the rows that never ended through the cold and snow to find the ‘perfect family Christmas Tree.’ (Please envision the Clark Griswold Family Christmas Tree here!)

As a child I would fill my pockets and even stuff my coat full of the pine cones I would find along the way. I still love the smell of fresh pine!

We’d get home that afternoon and my mom would make hot chocolate (I’m positive now that I’m a parent that my mom and dad’s hot chocolates were spiked with vodka; otherwise they weren’t making it until that night!) and we’d listen to Christmas music while decorating the tree.

Really cheesy but that is what we did EVERY year!

I can’t understand why when I enter a mall; I don’t smell that sickening sweet scent of the roasted nuts. Nor do I feel it is right that there aren’t Christmas lights and decorations covering the streets and houses.

There are no night time drives to see the lights. There are no Salvation Army guys ringing their silly little bells. We aren’t bundled up watching endless reruns of the same Christmas movies. And there is no snow to wake up to on Christmas morning.

I feel like I’ve lost Christmas.

Then I found it again.

All of the sudden I realized how commercialized even I had let Christmas become to me.

I grew up being taught the true meaning of Christmas and was in every single Christmas pageant at church. I know the story by heart because it is the equivalents of thousands of years of prophecy come true. It is the entire reason for the season (sorry for the cheesy rhyme!).

Yet, even I have fallen victim to Hallmarks branding over the years. As I grew older and was able to apply the memory of scents, sounds, and images to the holiday, I somehow lost what was truly important.

Christmas is after all about Christ’s birth.

I know you’re like...duh!

But how easily I’d let that fall to the back burner while still living in the states. I’d grown so accustomed to the hoopla of the season that I’d grown cold to the meaning. I’d lost Christmas when I moved to South Africa because I’d lost the meaning of it many years before that.

I’m grateful for this now. As I sit preparing my children’s presents, I realized how blessed we are. I’m thankful to raise my children in a way that they won’t experience the extravaganza firsthand the way I did. I’m thankful that I will be able to focus more on the meaning of Christmas and teach my children why we celebrate the holiday in such a close and family oriented manner.

I’m thankful that I had to lose my Christmas spirit to be able to rejoice Christmas in the Spirit!

I will still read “The Night before Christmas” to my children on Christmas Eve. And we will continue to give presents and donate to charities during this time as well.

But I will take a little less time worrying about the lights on my front door and a little more time answering questions about ‘baby Jazus’ and his ‘farm birth’.


1 comment:

  1. Merry merry Christmas Shana. So glad you have remembered the sweet gift of a savior this season. Huge hugs to you. Have a glorious holiday with your family. New follower from the hop.





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