Well, the intention was for it to be a poem, but we'll see how successful that intention actually was.
A Christmas Poem That Isn't Really Christmas (or really a poem, either)
They say the Messiah wasn't born in December.
This morning, I sat with three other friends. These three other friends and I, we all have experienced the sharpness of pain and loss. We are all aware of the sufferings of the world around us, though these sufferings aren't always voiced.
"It doesn't feel like the Christmas season," my best friend said.
I agreed and took a sip of my coffee.
I wouldn't have drunk coffee a few years back. Back then, thought it too bitter for my liking.
Things have changed.
When I was a kid, I loved the snow, especially when it was waist-high, and I could frolic around in it, pretending I was an explorer in Antarctica (I had to spell that word a few times, before the red squigglies of wrongspellingness disappeared).
Or that I was an angel (though making snow angels only served to get snow in between the layers of my supposedly snowproof clothing).
Or that I was an Eskimo (back then, that was a politically correct word).
Now, snow and ice - they're only hindrances I have to scrape off my windshield, before I drive to work.
When I was a kid, Christmas was celebrated in my grandma's house, the one that was always filled with delicious fudge and bright Christmas lights and stuffed animals that had buttons you could press to hear them sing a funny song.
We visited my grandma in the nursing home, this year.
When I was a kid, I loved gathering around the Christmas tree and tearing open red and green wrapping paper to discover the carefully selected gifts just waiting for me (I once read a statistic that if all the money Americans spend on wrapping paper is added up, we'd have enough money to supply the entire world with fresh water). I'd carefully arrange all the gifts so that afterwards, I could sit back and contently look at all the presents I'd received.
This year, I'm worried about buying Christmas gifts, because the things I got for my family cost money...I had to cut back on hours this semester at work so that I could focus on my college studies, which means I get paid less. I love giving gifts and all, but every year, it gets a little more stressful.
When I was a kid, I filled my plate with all kinds of my mom's homemade cookies. Oh, she'd make every kind of cookie you could ever imagine - pinwheels, fudge (sometimes even with marshmallows!), chocolate chip cookies, caramels, chocolate crinkles, peanut butter cup cookies, popcorn chocolate balls - you name it, she made it! We all would sit around, laughing and eating all that sugary goodness.
This year, she didn't make as much, and we didn't eat as much, because that kind of stuff isn't particularly good for the body.
So this morning, as my friends and I sat around the table at the restaurant, drinking our coffee and tea, we all agreed that Christmas this year - well, it isn't really Christmas. But now, I think I know why it isn't Christmas for me.
All the standards I use to measure how successful Christmas is aren't really Christmas at all. Christmas is Jesus. His Birth. What that offers to the whole world. Christmas isn't snow or Grandma's house or presents or plates full of cookies. Christmas is the heartbeat of a tiny baby, Who grew up to be a man, Who grew up to save the world, Who is the reason I don't have to suffer in guilt and hopelessness.
They say He wasn't born in December. Some people argue March, others April, others sometime in the summertime. It doesn't matter. All that matters is He was born, and that His Birth led to the eventual salvation of anyone who believes.
And suddenly, having to scrape thick layers of ice off my car doesn't seem too laborious anymore.