Have Yourself a Joyful Little Christmas
Written by Donna on 15 December 2013.

The magic of Christmas is gone. The wonder of Christmas is no more. The spirit of Christmas is nowhere to be found. Do you feel this way? Have you said it to yourself, if not to others? Is it a lament of yours?

It is for countless people – Christians and non-believers alike. They look for a special feeling, a certain “something” that makes them feel like Christmas is here! They want something that fills them with joy at the mention of this season of giving. Such a realization of the season should, in their minds at least, make them feel wonderful, fulfilled, or otherwise good, warm, and fuzzy inside. Christmas! Oh, joy divine!

For some, it’s the weather that makes them feel like Christmas is upon us. If it’s not cold around Christmastime, it doesn’t “feel” like Christmas to them. For some, it’s the decorations – the lights, the holly, the mistletoe, the tree, the bright bows and wrapping paper. But oftentimes, people will be in the midst of these things and still feel nothing at all of “Christmas.”

For some, it’s hearing “Christmas music” or singing Christmas carols. For others, it’s the shopping melee – even though so many complain about the crowds and craziness, there they are every year, in the middle of it all. But still, they feel like something is not quite “Christmas-ee” enough.

Frankly, we can only blame ourselves for loss of the “Christmas spirit.” I’m not looking down on anyone – I’ve been there, too, although not in recent years. But the pressure of getting the “right” gifts, not appearing “cheap,” pretending to like gifts that really aren’t desirable, long lines, headaches, tummy aches from eating too much of, or the wrong, food or goodies, attending Christmas programs, boring office Christmas parties – and so forth – took the joy out of Christmas for me. But notice I said I’ve not “been there” (e.g., having no Christmas spirit) in years.

That’s because I decided to go supernatural several years ago. Supernatural? Yes, supernatural. Supernatural means “above the natural.” I’ve gone to having supernatural Christmases, and my joy is full during the Christmas season. The “merry” (which means “happy”) has been replaced with joy, and the joy is more powerful than happiness! It was explained years ago that “happiness” is based upon “happenings.” But joy has roots in something much deeper, from a supernatural God.

See, it’s natural to shop until you drop for Christmas. It’s natural to cook into the wee hours of the morning for Christmas. It’s natural to spend more money than you have the ability to reasonably pay for Christmas. It’s natural to get headaches and stomach aches from stressing out and eating too much or not eating enough. It’s natural to overindulge for Christmas.

But a supernatural Christmas is one where you don’t do any of those things and don’t feel you have to. A supernatural Christmas is where you reflect on what Christmas is truly all about. A supernatural Christmas is where you forget the craziness and simply enjoy the love that was wrapped in flesh and laid in a manger.

This concept, of course, is absurd to those who are not believers. And sad to say, it will sound absurd to many who are Christians. But that’s because the “natural” thing has been to follow the ways of unbelievers in “celebrating” Christmas. And far too many people blur the lines of Christmas with practices and “feelings” which are incompatible with the truth about Christmas: "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11 (KJV)

I realize those who have children and spouses have to go with the flow. But I would suggest this (instead of what I did) for those not feeling the Christmas spirit: go volunteer somewhere where people don't have anything -- where they have few clothes, no cars, shattered families, and so on. Take your children. Join an organization that collects goods for people who don't have much, and go deliver the goods to those families. Then go back home and look around at your homes, and autos, and clothes, and jobs, and food pantries, and refrigerators, and shoes, and sweaters and coats, and TVs, and DVDs, and computers, and cell phones, and carpeted floors, and bathtubs, and Bibles, and family members, and TALK about what you experienced, and why God's provision and blessings are taken for granted.

It's not the Christmas "spirit of giving," festivities, or Christmas carols that make Christmas "Christmas." It's the compassion and love of God that made Christmas happen in the first place -- compassion and love for people who couldn't help themselves to be all He designed us to be. Every single one of us is in that boat, because every single one of us needed a Savior. Put yourself in a position to help someone who can't help themselves do anything at all for themselves, and you'll experience a joy that you can't explain. It's in that action that you will identify with a Father Who loved us so much and gave of Himself. And the Christmas Spirit Himself will flood your season with His joy.

Now, go ahead – do this, and have yourself a joyful little Christmas.