Dear Corley and Lottie,
First of all, Merry Christmas!
This Christmas, Christmas of 2015, you are 2.5 years old and almost 10 months old. It’s hard to believe.
I wanted to tell you about something I learned this Christmas, something I want you to know and remember for when you’re a young mom and are trying to get ready for your first Christmas away from family.
I want you to know it won’t be easy.
It won’t be easy, but I don’t mean because all the work and prep will be put on you. I don’t mean it won’t be easy because if you don’t do all of these “memory making events” then Christmas just won’t be Christmas.
I mean, it won’t be easy because it will be so very easy to get caught up in the fact that it’s your first Christmas without family. You can let that pull you down and bog you down with disappointment and frustration. It’s so easy to let that happen. It’s not easy, however, to fight it.
It’s not easy to remember that Christmas isn’t really even about family. It’s about Christ. His birth. His arrival into this world. His fellowship with us. A man among men. Born to die for us that we might live with him.
You see, my sweet daughters, this year was hard for me. We packed up and moved across the country, away from Grandmommie and Boompa, and with the move and the timing, for the first time in 26 years, I wasn’t going to get to spend Christmas with my parents. And they weren’t going to see you girls. And that hurt me. It hurt deep in my heart. And I became bitter.
But then one night I was studying a lesson to teach to a class of 5th grade boys and girls and the lesson hit on the same issue I was struggling with. The lesson asked the kids to think about things that easily replace and distract from the true meaning of Christmas. There are the typical things: presents, Santa, sports. But the whole time I was preparing and teaching this lesson, all I could think of was “family…” But I had a hard time putting it into words.
Because you see, family isn’t bad, but family isn’t the meaning of Christmas. Family isn’t why we celebrate Christmas. We celebrate Christmas because of Christ!
So I pray you’ll be able to forgive me for this year. Mama has been a little crazy. I lost track of the real meaning of Christmas. I pray that one day you’ll read this letter that I’ve written for you and that no matter where on this planet God calls you, you’ll always remember that He is the reason we live. He is the reason we rejoice. He is why we love. He is why we celebrate. And He alone is enough to keep us in the “Christmas spirit”.
Merry Christmas my sweet girls! May your days be merry and bright and always filled with Jesus’ light.