Is Christmas More Messy Than Merry? – The Wonder of Christmas

by | Dec 24, 2017 | The Wonder of Christmas

Merry Christmas! Here we are. It’s Christmas Eve.

As we’ve been on this road of returning our hearts to the wonder of Christmas, it’s been a joy to travel alongside of you in these days. Thanks for joining me today.

Snow fell during the night last night here in Iowa. Our first measurable amount this season with an inch or less. But, still, the little girl inside of me rejoices in the fact that it’s going to be a white Christmas after all. There’s just something about a white Christmas compared to a brown/green Christmas. Either way, however, we can choose to rejoice, right?

Sometimes (most times) I find Christmas isn’t storybook-perfect. It isn’t always a white one, either. Many years I held unrealistic expectations of how Christmas should “happen.” And, when it didn’t go as I had expected, I would sadly find myself disappointed, and my Christmas would be crushed. (Silly, I know.)

Maybe Christmas isn’t looking very storybook-perfect for you this year. Maybe this season isn’t anything you expected it to be. And quite possibly it’s more of a messy Christmas than a merry Christmas.

When Christmas is more messy than merry

What if Christmas is more messy than merry?

I suggest we embrace it.

Eventually I came to the realization that each Christmas is unique. And no matter how it plays out–even if it’s more messy than merry–it’s going to be okay. Christmas isn’t about what “happens” anyway, is it?

It’s not about what’s going on around us, but more about what’s happening in us.

It’s not so much having to do with how Christmas looks and feels, but more about the reality of the hope it brings.

If your Christmas is a bit messy this year, Christ is still in it.

I say embrace the messy. Let it play out in our lives. Maybe others need to see that we don’t have it all together all the time. Maybe someone needs to see that messy can still be beautiful.

A messy Christmas can still be a beautiful Christmas.

We’ve walked through the first Christmas in the past few weeks here, and we came face to face with messy. The mess of a virgin girl becoming pregnant by the Holy Spirit. The mess of a carpenter deciding to quietly divorce his pregnant fiance, but followed what the angel in his dream told him to do. There was the mess of traveling to Bethlehem, and then no room to be found in the inn. And, we certainly can’t forget the mess of the stable, and the baby being born in feeding trough.

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  Luke 2:10-12 NIV

The first Christmas was messy, indeed. But look at what arrived in that mess… Jesus, the Savior of the world.

A mess can be a beautiful thing. And, as in the first Christmas story, messy can change our lives.

Just because Christmas may look like a mess, doesn’t mean it is. God might just be working in ways only He can. Let’s trust Him through it this year. And, may we shine His light into someone else’s messy this season.

What appears to be messy in your world this Christmas? In what mess are you trusting God this season? He’s got it, and He’s got us.

And, if your Christmas is more brown/green than white this year, the wonder still exists.

Merry Christmas, my friend.





This post is adapted from its original version in the Rediscovering Christmas series.


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  1. Cindy

    As I have been reading the Christmas Story to prepare for a Children’s Sermon, in devotions, and now in your great post, Julie, something has caught my attention that never has before. In talking to the Shepherds, the Angels say: “A Savior has been born to….YOU….” The Savior was born to the Shepherds!!! That means the Angels were also proclaiming the Savior is born to ME and to YOU, too! I love that! Why have I never picked up on it before? I like to imagine that Angel chorus saying, “Don’t be afraid, Cindy! A Savior was born to YOU; He is the Messiah!” And just for the record even tho it looks like it, there’s no “mess” in the Messiah! Merry Christmas Julie!

  2. Teresa Snyder

    Merry Christmas! Messy doesn’t begin to describe our Christmas. Everyone is sick including the grands. So now Christmas Family Gathering. Nor even to Christmas Eve Service.

    My husband is crabby, which makes it hard by 10:00 pm to keep my joy. So I pray.
    A friend of ours had exploratory surgury on Christmas Eve at Mayo Rochester and the family will make decicions after that. He has cancer……I have heard the same line again and again.
    But I have the gift to pray for healing.

    God is good! But not at the moment…..waiting to see the hope

    Teresa Snyder


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