When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Luke 2:17-19


On December 4th, 2007, I wrote the following in a blogpost:

“Last year’s Christmas was a stressful time for me. I truly suffered from all the negative aspects of the season: the huge number of fliers coming to the door irked me; the full parking lots at the mall overwhelmed me; the stores with the Christmas music and the pushing of goods bothered me. The materialism of it all—the having to live up to all the traditions when I wasn’t in the mood—the pressures of going to parties and having to entertain family were more than I could bear. I saw it as a chaotic time, one I wished I could escape.”

You might have had such feelings at Christmas time. It’s common for Christmas to bring depression, the results of expectations that are too high. But during this pandemic year, the stores are not crowded with shoppers. There isn’t as much pressure to buy gifts and prepare big dinners.

Christmas is a time of fantasy and nostalgia, a time when we try to recreate feelings we had in the past. Today’s Christmas is simpler for most of us. It’s sad…but isn’t there some good in it too? The chaos is missing.

With less distractions, we have more time for quiet meditation. Leading up to Christmas should bring such stillness—a time for peaceful reflection. Today, that opportunity won’t be as hard to come by for most of us.

Think about what a mystery God’s coming into the world was! Think beyond today’s world troubles. Think instead of the awe and wonder of Bethlehem!  

Is it really so bad to have a year without a traditional Christmas? This one time, to have a holiday from the holidays? Jesus is still here. He has not left. Maybe you’ll find him even closer than usual.

Gather those who can be with you close. Deck your table with some festive foods. Listen to your favourite Christmas music and play some games. Enjoy a simpler Christmas, a quieter Christmas. And delight in this special time with Jesus.

It’s his day.