I’ve been talking with a lot of friends about their feelings regarding the holidays. Many of them are suffering from a lot of stress right now and are having a hard time feeling the Christmas spirit. I know people who have lost their jobs just before Christmas, had injury or diseases befall their family, or had accidents. It seems that December is just a bad time, year after year. How do we manage to feel the Christmas spirit with all that turmoil?
After thinking about it for a while, I’ve come up with a theory. I think December is the perfect time for us to have our trials and tribulations. Jesus Christ came to the earth to be our Savior and to show us the way. We traditionally celebrate His birth in December. Our trials are designed to help bring us closer to Him. It all fits in a perfect cycle – we are tested close to Christmas to bring us even closer to our Savior, Whose birth we are celebrating.
I have seen many miracles take place at Christmas. I’ve seen presents left on the doorsteps of those who find themselves a little short of money, and those gifts are often just what the recipient wanted. I, myself, received a muffin tin and a stock pot one year from a man dressed as Santa who literally walked right in my house without knocking and brought a huge bag of gifts. I still don’t know how he knew I needed those particular items.
I’ve seen bills paid anonymously, walks shoveled in the dark of night, cookies delivered, children cared for, all by good people who want to serve their fellowman. I think it’s no coincidence that these things take place during the holidays.
The next time you feel that you’re struggling to feel the holiday spirit, take a look at all the ways in which you are being blessed by those around you. Also, think about ways you might help those you know are struggling. Christmas isn’t automatically a time of peace and joy – we create that peace and joy as we let our lights shine in the lives of others.