People are right.
It didn’t feel like Christmas, for the most part.
Then again, a Christmas hasn’t felt like it did when I was a kid since, well, when I was a kid.
But isn’t that the point?
What I want to grab people by the shoulders and say, “This isn’t about you, anymore!”
Let me expand a bit.
It was, to be fair, 80 degrees on Christmas Day where I live. Not exactly close to being a White Christmas, not that I’ve ever had one. Don’t get me wrong. I get it. I get the season and joy and cheer.
I spent most of it catering to other people’s parties and emptying garbages in the dumpster at 1am. That is my new festive holiday cheer. Hustling. Working. Feeding people and cleaning up after them. Decembers are now a blur to me. They are so busy with parties and travel and catching up, we all get a little twinge in our stomachs after Thanksgiving. At least I do.
Maybe I’m part of the problem. Maybe I’m the Scrooge and my bah-humbugs come a little quieter — maybe with some passive aggression and disdain towards eggnog.
I think that maybe I have lost chasing that feeling. I don’t think a tree would help, or if I was in another industry. Christmas is changing not just for me, but for everyone.
So what do we do?
More so, what do I do? Where do I start?
2015 has been one of the biggest years of my life. Which is actually very, very tiny, considering we are a pale blue dot falling endlessly in some galaxy and in some form of space time. In that sense, I am barely atomic.
But I have a little breath and a big heart and am at times angry with little things and often kind and have a lot going on in my head, always.
This year has been a little about rage. Not that I’ve been jumping up and down on top of cars, but of survival and moving forward. It’s knowing that if you don’t care, then your business is going to fail. It’s knowing you are now responsible not only to people, but to a place and its people and its future.
I’ve been taking and taking my young adult life. Learning and figuring out what the hell I wanted to do. Right? Yes. Many of us got that luxury of learning and exploring. Reading Donald Miller or Mere Christianity for the sixth time and talking about God for hours and why this world is so damn difficult. Those were some sweet, luxurious times.
Now, though, we have to start giving back. And I’m not talking about two weeks on a mission trip — I’m talking about loving people fiercely and selflessly and investing your heart into a place and its people.
We aren’t super great at that. I’m not super great at that. But this is the shift that’s happening in my heart.
Let the kids have Christmas. Give them good memories and cherish deeply your own, but it’s not about you anymore. It’s about the little, more innocent people. It always has been because they’ve always been our best hope.
I think about that book “The Giver” and what it would be like on both ends. I do believe our responsibility is to remind our world of its history — of how we fight and kill but also thrive and move forward. A world void any of this would surely bring us to our knees begging to choose to feel again.
It is incredible and it is so absolutely painful at times.
I guess I’m adulting. I’m working to make some changes as I do so, and as we all must do when becoming older. Maybe I’m still naive to say such things, but we gotta a lot of life left. You have so much power in you, and if I knew you personally I would tell you that all the time.
I would tell about all the power you have to do the hard things and come out on the other side and to talk about how being married is really rough sometimes and how having kids puts so many stresses on everything. Everything. Everything requires loads of attention and it is impossible to control everything at the same time.
That is grace and effervescence — the stuff that lifts and refreshes.
You are allowed to think deep about your dark places where maybe only you and another walk, and maybe walk alone. I have been in those places and have lost the people I’ve walked with — but you find others there, too.
That is the best thing to know. People are hitchhikers in this wonky way, you pick them up and they do the same to you — and sometimes you step back and say, “How did I do this without you?”
Though I’ve drifted away from the Christmas theme, I’ve ended up where I’ve wanted in writing this final post for 2015.
Thank God for people.
And thank you for the graces they give and that we give.
Let’s keep it up. And let’s give our new hopes some good things; let’s give them the best of us and show them mercy when they see our worst.
After all, Love is a great Green Hope.