I wrote this in 2013. It is still true. I still love it. My people are so great. Grad school is not a joke. I still have pumpkins hanging in my dining room. That is okay. Jesus will still come.
There is so much about you that I love. I love pulling out the Christmas decorations. I love the music. Oh my word do I love the advent candles. I love the movies. I even love the excitement that builds at school and the three half days of exams at the end. The over-all feeling of WE’RE ALMOST DONE that we practically go mad on, teachers and students alike.
I am one of the lucky ones. For the most part, you’ve been good to me December. I don’t have any terrible memories or heart breaking disappointments. We generally get along.
But December, as you approach, I am noticing whispers of the little friend you so often bring, so let me be frank December, while I am excited you are coming to see me,
Your scarcity isn’t welcome here.
I have found the word to name the thing that whispers in the dark to me you are not enough. It’s name is scarcity, and it is not welcome here. I will no longer be allowing the lie that the present I lovingly picked out for someone is not enough. I will not be replacing that lie with the one that so quickly comes after that I spent too much money, or too little.
These presents are tokens of relationships, the do not define them.
I am choosing to believe this holiday season, that my best is good enough for the ones I love.
I will not let the lie of scarcity of memories make me feel guilty about not doing all the things all the time. I will instead choose to believe that a night in with mom and dad and some hot chocolate and cookies is not just good enough, but perfect. Even if the cookies are just the red Oreos.
I will not spin my family into a holiday frenzy for the perfect picture, the perfect outfits, the perfect dinner, the perfect moment. Those things aren’t real. They do not in fact exist. Happy kids and good enough pictures are in fact picture. After all, my favorite pictures from last year are the truly imperfect ones. There are lots of kinds of perfect pictures. The lie of scarcity isn’t welcome here.
We will be decorating the house on Monday because we want to, and it is fun, and not because we are supposed to, or we are bad parents for not having the tree up. If only the bottom third of the tree gets ornaments because the girls want to hang every last one I will praise the girls for their creativity. I will tell them the tree looks beautiful, perfect even. And I will mean it.
There is enough. There is enough time, there is enough gifts, there is enough to go around. I am armed my grandmother’s cookie and candy recipes, and the ability to make pie with bourbon in it and vodka that tastes like candy canes. I will beat back the lie that my homemade efforts are not good enough with a swig of spiked hot chocolate and a set of beaters turned to full blast.
And December, I hope this season is as sugar-coated my children’s dreams. But you can tell your friend scarcity I will not be baking out of a sense of guilt or fear of someone thinking my efforts are pathetic.
Tell your friend scarcity I will be baking the way I will be doing everything else this season. As a way to connect to the abundance of love from the christmas’ of my youth. As a way to pour love out to my neighbors and friends. For the pure joy of it.
I will not let your stupid friend scarcity rob me of the beautiful truth of this season, that Jesus came to give humanity the ultimate gift, an eternal relationship with an all-loving God. In him I am enough.
So December, I am looking forward to you.
All your beauty and whimsy, your reflection and rest. I love your anticipation and your laughter, your hope, peace, joy and love. But the scarcity that so often comes with you? Sorry.
That lie can go straight to hell where it came from.
Jesus came down to earth as a baby, as a testament to God’s abundant love. I will love abundantly this season. I will give grace abundantly.
So here’s to you December. I can say honestly, without your little friend, I look forward to this beautiful time.