My bad attitude is to blame for most unhappiness in my life.
I have suffered few great tragedies and have even been spared many small pains. I got to grow up exploring the world with my amazing family and now I’m married to the best man and we laugh all the time. The sad or difficult moments in my life were eased by a close-knit family and incredible support systems. I have very little to be unhappy about.
And yet Christmastime makes me sad.
Don’t get me wrong, I love baking cookies, and trimming trees and mailing packages of stocking stuffers to my family overseas. I love Nativity Plays and listening to kids talk about Santa and wish lists. I cry when I hear of Christmas miracles and see how generous people become around this time of the year. As a Christian, I stand in awe that God sent our savior to be born in poverty, in the middle of a genocide and then to live as a refugee when he was a toddler. When I think of Mary, an unwed pregnant teen, I sense how deep God’s love for the vulnerable is, that he chose her to be so special. For all these reasons, I love Christmas.
But I also hate it.
I hate it because it never lives up to my expectations. I hate it because I will never have all the people I love in one place, even at this “most wonderful time of the year.” I hate it because there are days my bad attitude takes over and all I see are my personal disappointments and frustrations. Not to mention how laughably (make that hysterically) busy we get. Forget sleep and down time, it’s Christmastime y’all!
There are very simple truths that can make life sweeter. We all know them and sadly Lululemon is trying to copyright most of them:
Count your blessings.
Love people, not money. Etc etc etc.
(I’m not convinced about the flossing thing yet though.)
It’s hard to get more trite than these sage bits of advice. It’s also hard to pretend that they aren’t true.
In my head there exists a perfect Christmas. It is a combination of all the small perfect moments I’ve experienced in 23 Christmases. It’s the newlywed ideal still kicking around in my head. It is a dream that will never be true because real life is messy and chaotic, and perfection comes in small moments. And I need to learn to be ok with that. I need to learn to make the joy of the small moments last through the rest.
All I want for Christmas is an attitude adjustment.