Christmas is the time of year when we remember the birth of our savior Jesus Christ. It is an amazing time with friends and family, It is a time with pretty lights, music, movies, traditions, and movies. When I read the book A Christmas Carol or watch the movie The Christmas Project I fell a bubbly feeling, but when it ends I wonder, why don’t my Christmas moments overflow with such warm feelings? Christmas just usually doesn’t feel as “magical” as movies portray. I kept wondering, am I doing something wrong? So this year I tried something new.
My family has never been into traditions. Well, we have a very few… Every year we watch several movies. Another tradition is that on Christmas morning, we eat “junky cereal” like Captain Crunch, Fruit Loops, Cookie Crunch, etc… I decided that I would create more traditions, and my siblings agreed. We came up with several ideas and even decorated our driveway with lights. It was a lot of fun, but I still wasn’t getting that winter wonderland vibe.
On Christmas Eve we were watching the best movie ever: It’s a Wonderful Life. If you haven’t seen it, it is about a man who goes through life facing many disappointments because he puts others over himself. Every nice thing he does costs him something, and beats him down. He feels like a failure. After all none of his plans work out. That is when he wishes that he had never been born, and his wish is granted. He gets to see a world where he doesn’t exist, and it is not pretty. He had helped so many people that in a world where he didn’t exist, everything was ruined. That is when he realized that life with all it’s struggles, failed plans, and disappointments was worth living. He rediscovered all of the friends in his life and sees all the good instead of the bad.
After watching that movie I realized that even if my plans don’t always work out, my mistakes play into God’s master plan. When I can’t create “the Christmas Spirit” that is okay, I have done nothing wrong. My failures show God’s ability to make something beautiful out of failure. I can’t make a feeling. I can’t always feel good. Thankfully feelings aren’t the backbone of my life. My Mom always says that feelings aren’t the engine on the train, they are the caboose. What is funny is that when I stopped trying to feel the Christmas Spirit I felt content and happy. This Christmas has been one of the best ones I have ever had.
I know now that traditions add fun and movies and books add some feeling, but over all Christmas doesn’t need all the effort. After all at the heart of Christmas we are celebrating Christ’s birth! He doesn’t care what feelings we have, when we come to worship him. He would rather us have an unhappy sincere heart, than a fake upbeat spirit. He can work with my mistakes when I am being sincere.