Since moving 9 hours away from my hometown 5 years ago,I have only gone to my hometown for any major holiday 3 times. The very first year we moved, that following Christmas we did not go anywhere, and no one came to us. All the people I saw were my parents and my little brother. First of all, I was not at all excited about moving. So not seeing family our first Christmas away from family was a horrible end to that first year.
Me still being the 14 year old girl, Christmas was all about presents, how many presents I got, and comparing gifts with little and bigger cousins and my little brother. Seeing how cute my clothes were compared to my little girl cousins, seeing who could get the box opened first between my brother and I, and seeing who got the biggest present between my brother and I. It was all about bigger is better and more is the best.
After about a year and a half after we moved I went to Saint Monica’s and got really into my faith ( if you wanna read about it I’ll put a link of the blog right here _________ ), and realized how much Jesus was needed in my life. That I had to heal those past wounds to fully be happy. I just had to learn how to trust Him.
So this Christmas (2015), was the third time I’ve been home and I noticed something this time that I really didn’t notice. Maybe it’s because I realize that Christmas is WAY more than just presents and stuff. Maybe it’s because I have a new appreciation for our Faith and Jesus. I really don’t know. But i noticed that everyone comes together at the table. First it starts out with food. You have a huge buffet of food; turkey, chicken, ham, stuffing, salad, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, etc. Before you start eating, you start by thanking Jesus for all that He’s given you, thanking God for giving us His only Son and for dying for our sins. Then you dig in, and you eat and after eating, people can stay at that table for hours. Talking, playing games with the family, and just being together. Not on phones and computers and what not. Just being present.
I realized that maybe Christmas is more than how big the presents are, or how many gifts I got. Christmas is so much more than that. Our Savior came in human form and lived like we do. He had emotions and feelings and hurts and wants and He had a mother and 2 fathers ( an earthly father and a Heavenly Father ). Like He went through things just like us. People turned on Him, people didn’t like Him, People assumed and accused Him of things and He took it like a champ. Christmas is about Jesus’ birth and being with the people who love you. People who truly care about you. I thinking not being with family a few times on Christmas really got to me and hit me hard.
My challenge and prayer for you this week is to be present with family. Put the phone and computer and electronics away. Talk with them, play with them, sing with them, BE with them! And my prayer is that you grow closer to Jesus this new year, the best thing you can do for yourself is to really build that relationship with Our Lord. He will be the one to make you happy, to make you keep going when you think you can’t do it anymore. Just try it! What do you have to lose? God Bless!