Sometimes there is a big gap between what the Christmas the commercials promise and the Christmas we experience. Despite the music and festivities, this can be a difficult season for many. Some folks experience “Christmas blues,” finding the holidays to be a time when they’re particularly vulnerable to depression. And then there’s the “Christmas hangover,” (not the one caused by too much eggnog) it’s the one that hits after the presents are opened, the stockings are empty, the meal is over, and we find ourselves thinking, “Is that it?” We can find it all very anti-climactic.
The Christmas blues and the Christmas hangover come together when expectations meet reality. We build up anticipation to a level that can’t possibly be met. We have plenty of help building these expectations. Social media, TV commercials and department stores paint the picture that our loneliness will be turned into joy when the gifts we want so badly ultimately satisfy us.
The problem is that we can’t possibly meet these unrealistic expectations. Sometimes instead of families coming together and bonding, they just come together and argue. There are times you get everything on your list and still you feel empty. Maybe this season is lonely because you have lost a loved one.
If we can feel this as believers, imagine what it’s like for someone who has yet find the realmeaning of Christmas. Beneath plastic smiles and obligatory “cheer,” these can be dark, difficult times for those who have yet to meet the Savior, the one whom the season is about.
The thing we need to remember is that many people are searching for what Christians already have. The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 3:23-24 that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.
We give gifts to not only commemorate the gifts brought to baby Jesus, but they also remind us of the gift of God’s Son to save us from our sins. Mild He lays His glory by; born that men no more may die! Let that be the carol you hold on to this Christmas. We have been given the gift of eternal life and ultimate peace.