Christmas Bubble Burst
There is something about being in a car that makes it easy to cry. Not being a super-emotional person, the car never ceases to perplex me with its ability to draw out countless moments of vulnerability. The car does sometimes serve as our primary source of quiet/alone/sanity time, & that can be the perfect time to tell the steering wheel all about our troubles. However, it’s when a poor, unsuspecting person is in the vehicle with you that you have an issue because the car will still do its magic.
That was me on Black Friday, & Blake was not fortunate enough to be at a place where he could roll out of the moving car. Not having planned to be hysterical, my first instinct was to brush it off, but these words of Brené Brown came to mind, & I knew I had to try:
“Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center, of meaningful human experiences” (Daring Greatly, 12).
It’s so easy when it’s the other person who is upset because we expect them to be human with cracks, & flaws, & questions. When it’s us, though, we want so much to not be vulnerable. We know we aren’t perfect, but the second that imperfection starts to show, we feel immense shame.
As my brain careened through jumbled thoughts, I tried piecing sentences together about what I was feeling. It turns out not keeping your vulnerability trapped in a tower can be helpful. Face in lap, I voiced sadness over not having Christmas decorations for the house. Off the bat, that may come across incredibly materialistic, trivial, & DUMB. But aren’t we to the point in life where we know what we initially say isn’t all there is to it?
So we kept talking, & we realized decorations tend to kick off our Christmas season. The Christmas tree, Advent calendar, & festive mantel make me feel like I could walk through the door any day to find Bing Crosby singing White Christmas at his piano by the fire. That makes me happy. I want to be happy. I want Christmas to be this month-long pass from the hard parts of life filled with figgy pudding & a cup of good cheer.
Many of us know the truth of Christmas, but when given the opportunity to live it, we aren’t big fans. We realize we don’t get a month to throw away the painful realities of life for the utopian ones. That’s hard for people who don’t like conflict, don’t like imperfection, & don’t like broken. It’s hard for people who don’t want to be vulnerable because this can be a super easy season if you’re swept away in Nutcracker/Santa/Old-movie whimsy.
I am 100% in on hot chocolate & Christmas movie nights. If I’m sad on a hot, July day, I will listen to a Christmas song without hesitation. If allowed, I would leave my Christmas tree up at least six months out of the year as a reminder to be joyful. There are a lot of Christmas traditions that bring love, warmth, & kindness towards people, & I love them all. Christmas wouldn’t be nearly as wonderful without them. Or would it? Despite our personal circumstances, the reason Christmas exists still stands, doesn’t it? Whether we decorate with a million lights or don’t even get around to putting up the tree this year, the reason for Christmas doesn’t waver, right?
My desire for more decorations wasn’t actually a wish for more stuff. It was the desire to kick off my annual pass for the month. If our house was merry, surely my heart would feel more merry.
We did decorate, but together, we made a few pieces to hang on our walls as a reminder of why we celebrate Christmas. Just over two thousand years ago, our world was in a state similar to the one it’s in now. People hoped for a mighty, fierce, & perhaps violent king to bring peace & prosperity. Instead, a baby was born. Never before had the world experienced a human who made way for a better life by roads of selfless love & kindness. It was the first time we saw what it meant to be a voluntary servant while also carrying the title of Leader. Christmas is the celebration of a perfect king, our Savior, coming to this earth, making all things new.
When we look at Christmas this way, surely we don’t wish for a life-pass anymore but rather long to make life better. Together, we celebrate Jesus. We slow down, counting each day of Advent as valuable, thankful for the night He entered our world alongside humanity.
As Blake & I wrapped our conversation, still in the car, together we took a breath & realized something big— if our situation is looking tired or maybe even a little bleak, that should probably make the Christmas season more of a treasure than ever before. Christmas exists for the tired & the bleak. Christmas exists for the imperfect & broken. Jesus came into existence for us—for you & for me. That is so worthy of our celebration. He came to make us new, & He’s doing the work daily. Allow yourself that breath—there is nothing richer.
These are the signs we made (with the supervision of Collins, of course). They add so much to our home, & Blake will most likely have to force me to take these down in February. They aren’t even close to perfect, & I never once had the thought that I should start an Etsy shop. No stencils were used—it’s all my handwriting—because it’s a reminder for my family & me that Christmas is personal. These words—the promise of hope—it really was intended for us.