It’s such a different kind of Christmas, isn’t it? 2020 has proven to be strange in numerous ways, why would the Christmas season be any different? Over a Zoom call on Saturday, sadly my friend and I canceled our traditional Christmas get together with our families. Darn COVID. Yesterday we made the decision to postpone our extended family’s traditional Christmas celebration. Not fair. Yes, I’m disappointed, saddened, and frustrated, yet I know these were the right decisions to make.
But, I didn’t want to make these decisions.
I wanted to celebrate Christmas as we’ve always celebrated it. On the days and in the ways we’ve always done it. Because spending time with loved ones is what matters to me the most! To have their laughter and conversation ring through our home, to catch up in each other’s lives, to enjoy festive food together, to reminisce about the days gone by, and to rejoice in the birth of our Savior. My heart swells as I dwell on these special traditions with my loved ones.
So, yes, I’m completely disappointed none of that will happen with Christmas 2020. To be honest with you, maybe I’m a little angry, too. COVID has hijacked much of what we’ve known as normal this year. It has flipped our lives upside-down. It’s caused cancelation after cancelation of family gatherings, vacations, weddings, funerals, events, and things we used to look forward to. It has forced us to live differently, see things differently, and evaluate what’s important differently.
I’m tired of the “differently.”
I’m tired of it all. I’d like to go back to what’s “normal.” Wouldn’t we all? I’m guessing you and me and everyone else wants to return to what is familiar to us. Because none of this is familiar. None of it.
So, what do we do? What do you and I do to continue making the best of our situations? To make the best of this Christmas season when we feel disappointed, discouraged, and disheartened?
Well, first off, I believe it’s healthy to acknowledge where we are. To acknowledge our thoughts, our feelings, our emotions. To accept the reality that we are disappointed. That this isn’t what we expected. That Christmas is likely going to be different this year. Even thought we don’t like it. Because only when we acknowledge how we are feeling can we accept reality and move forward in it.
It’s okay to be disappointed this Christmas.
It’s what we do with that disappointment that matters. This disappointment doesn’t have to devastate Christmas. No. Actually, we can use it as a springboard for this season. We can allow it to propel us to make this season special in spite of it. When we accept that we feel disappointed, we can do something about it. We can actually use it as a force of good. Disappointment can actually enrich our Christmas season!
How in the world?? Because when we are disappointed, the focus is on ourselves. After we’ve acknowledged it and felt it and accepted it, you and I have the freedom to spin our disappointment and turn our focus on to others. Because you and I both know others are feeling disappointed in this season, too. Right?? How can we make their lives better this Christmas? What can we do to bring others joy? How can we help a disappointed family, neighborhood, world have a merrier Christmas?
I’ll be back tomorrow and I’ll share some ideas. In the meantime, please share your ideas below so I can include them. How can we help a disappointed world have a merrier Christmas?
Feeling disappointed doesn’t have to devastate Christmas.
Hallelujah! Disappointments didn’t devastate the first Christmas, and they won’t devastate this one either. (We’ll talk more about that tomorrow, too.) It’s all a matter of perspective. And, may this Psalm encourage your heart and mine today:
Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God!Psalm 42:11 NLT
Merry Christmas, friend. I’ll see you back here tomorrow.
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Oh. My. Goodness. Julie! I’m sitting here crying as I read your words. Words I so need right now!! I was disappointed at no family for Thanksgiving, but Christmas? My heart is broken and I’m so disappointed (and mad). I’m trying to decorate today but the normal joy isn’t there. And then….guilt sets in because honestly, I’m so lucky I’ve had my family with me every Christmas up til now. So many parents don’t get to spend their holidays with their kids and grandkids. And military families! So I’m going to try and take your advise to acknowledge my disappointment and use it to help me help others. Thank you my wise friend! I’ll be sharing this post because I know many others are feeling as we do!
PS Our church has always made large fruit/treat bags for our shut ins and others facing hard times and then deliver them with a short visit at each stop. This year we are making mini bags with fruit and store bought packaged treats and will leave them on the porch for people as we wave through the door. A little normal Christmas spirit with modifications (darn Covid!)
I understand, Cindy. This is so difficult to navigate through. My heart is broken, too. Actually, there are so many feelings! I’m glad we can encourage one another in this season. Your church sounds like it’s making the best of the situation with modifications for shut ins and others in need. What a gift that is! Hang in there. God will get us through this!