The Trouble with Christmas

December 24, 2010

By R.W. Hampton

The trouble with Christmas for me is that it’s always hard to find. Every year it’s the same; in fact, it seems to get a little harder as I get older. It’s that elusive Christmas Spirit, that old time feeling of wonder and joy that seems just beyond reach. Without it, I’m just a tired, over-extended, over-spent man waiting on this all to pass so a new year can start. Snow won’t make it happen, nor will the music. Although they can sure add to the spirit of the season, these things alone are not enough. I swear sometimes between the spending, ordering and charging, my heart cries out, “Where’s Christmas? Where is baby Jesus? Where’s the Christ Child in all of this?”

The frustrating part is that every now and then, I can catch a tinge of it, but it slips away just before I can grasp it. Like the scent of sage on the breeze, it’s gone before I can savor it, ‘cause the breeze has died. And then, when I least expect it, it will return, only to drift away again on that fickle gypsy wind.

If only I could see Christmas through the eyes of a child again. For was it not a boy child who brought us the original Christmas Miracle? I’ve got memories of that wonder and joy, but memories aren’t enough and time is getting short. Just a few more hours to go and it will all be gone for another year.

But it will come, it will happen, I just know it will. It always has and it’s always a miracle! Perhaps an unexpected phone call from a long lost friend will bring it. Or maybe the chaos of my kids and grandkids running through the house will be what does it. Just maybe it will be the realization of the blessing of getting to spend one more Christmas with both of my folks. It could happen tonight, when I see the candlelight in my wife’s eyes at the little country church service. Or possibly in the wee hours, when I’m wrapping gifts and realize that it’s already Christmas for my Marine son over in war-torn Afghanistan. I wonder, are he and his “boys” huddled together singing carols, or in another fire fight like they were on Thanksgiving? It could happen as we all join hands to pray over the wonderful Christmas dinner my wife prepares, or in the morning, when a gift that was given from the heart is unwrapped and obviously appreciated by the receiver.

For me, it could be all of these moments or none of them. It all boils down to a supernatural spiritual thing that happens in the heart when everything else is stripped away and the connection between God and man through that first miracle birth becomes real.

Well, my friends, the spirit of Christmas could even come at the close of this writing. Who knows where, when or how, but it will happen and I’ll be here waiting when it arrives.

Here’s hoping it comes for you too.

God Bless You,

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