I love the spirit of grace that Christmas brings. I love houses lighting up the neighborhood. I love the traditional Bevan goodies. l love finding unique gifts for special people. I love lights that shine in a dark room. But I am not good at hoopla.
My youngest son was born in December. That year goes down as my best Christmas ever. He has also always been an advocate for all the hoopla that comes with the Christmas holiday. Decorations! Lights! Cookies! So when he wasn’t demanding the tree up the day after Thanksgiving I started to worry.
We didn’t really need any more decorations, but I took him to the craft store to see if his usual excitement would spark up. We had some spirited discussion about what to purchase to hang on our stair bannister. He is a little over six feet tall so he helped a few customers retrieve items from the higher shelves. I think they were tickled by our negotiations. Like I mentioned, he is good at hoopla, I am not. He likes to make a statement, I like everything to fit into a few boxes when Christmas time is over. He likes gold and glitter, I like green and brown. “Mom that looks like a cut up potato sack.” Eventually we found something we could both appreciate.
It has reminded me that living with people who are different than I am is a blessing. So many places in life we tend to make value judgments on differences. But some attributes aren’t better or worse, they are just different. Seems a simple concept, but I’ve seen many relationships blown apart due to the inability to tolerate differences. My theory is that it comes from a place of deep insecurity in our individual, fundamental way of being that causes the trouble. If I, for example, cannot accept that I am not a hoopla person, it would be harder for me to accept my opposites.
I’ve been to friends’ houses before where they immediately apologize for the mess. Some are basically hoarders. My thought is that I can’t live that way, but if you do, that’s about you, not me. When one is secure, there is no need to apologize. Each one of us has to look inside to see if adjustments need to be made, in order to be truly secure. Maybe we choose to shame others because making adjustments can be hard work at times.
I adore the idea of Christmas as a reminder of grace. I believe in the Christ as One who brought light into a dark world. I love my son who reminds me that hoopla is not a bad thing, it’s just not my thing. Merry Christmas to all my friends and family, may we remember to give grace in all our differences.
(Featured Image Melody Dorsey Hewko)