Thursday, December 13, 2007

the reality is

I don't actually hate Christmas. and I won't skip it.
Mostly because I don't think I could ever actually get away with it, but also because it has too many good things going for it to cancel it altogether.
This list won't be as entertaining as the last, but I want you to know I'm capable of being sweet and kind and that life sucks if all I do is complain,
So in keeping with the format of the last post, I thought I'd make a Top Ten Reasons to Celebrate Anyway...

10. Decorations
I hinted on my last list that I really don't like decorating. A lot of the stuff out there (including in our own collection) is sooo tacky and outdated. But there are some pieces that I love so much it makes it all worth it. Like snowmen. If my sister didn't collect them, I would. I love all things snowman related. And I'm collecting the Willow Tree Nativity Scene, so that's pretty exciting.

9. Bonus
This would be higher on my list, but I'm not getting one this year (that I know of)... but last year when I got a Christmas Bonus, it was an amazing blessing and a wonderful surprise. I think I should get it every year!

8. Sales
Let's face it... things are on sale all over the place. So much so, that you end up buying a lot for yourself, cause well, it's on sale. But let's not complain, cause we're getting stuff ON SALE. Those are like two of the most favored words among females. That's why they say "It's the most wonderful time of the year."

7. Parties
This was on the previous list, where it will remain, but there's an upside. Whether it's getting to see people I haven't seen for a while, or people I see everyday but now in a whole new light, Christmas parties are great social fun. And we know I love great social fun. This year, my work party is at the Assistant Principal's house... intimidating? yes. intriguing? double yes. Now not only will I know where she lives if she really gets on my bad side, but I actually have a chance to get to know her a bit more (and hopefully make a really great impression). Plus it's a chance to eat all those cookies I mentioned...

6. Getting Gifts
I really don't have to explain this one, at all. But I will cause otherwise it'll feel left out of the list (all the other items got at least a couple sentences). I go all year seeing things I want but never being able to buy them. But now I can tell others what I saw, and they'll get it for me. And I love that. Already, a student's mom bought me two books I wanted from the Book Fair and it made my day. I could never have justified that purchase on my own, but now I own something I really wanted.

5. Giving Gifts
This one actually is above "Getting Gifts" let me point that out. And not just cause it makes me look better. But I actually LOVE giving gifts. That whole rant on my last post? Yeah, this is why. I love putting thought into gifts and getting something I KNOW they'll really love. Andrew's past presents include a U2 concert, a Superman hoodie, Calvin's commentaries, a poem I wrote, Linkin Park concert, a mixed CD of his favorite songs I bought for him on iTunes, etc. He didn't write a single one of those things on a list for me. But when he got them and his face lit up and he said "Seriously???" I knew that gift giving is a true joy.

4. Vacation
With the exception of last year, every year since I've been alive I've had a Christmas break. 2 weeks of time off from anything and everything except friends, family and TV. What a glorious time. The past couple years I've actually gotten to travel for Christmas, and as annoying as it is, I actually kind of like it. It makes the break that much more special. That I get to get away from it all and escape to a familiar place.

3. Movies
Elf. A Christmas Story. Muppets. The Santa Clause. Home Alone. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Charlie Brown. Need I say more? I can, but you know them all. Classic Christmas movies. Sure, you can watch them anytime, but they mean more when played in December. Andrew and I actually started a tradition where we buy a new Christmas movie every year, and it's one of my favorite traditions.

2. Family
This one is especially important now that I've moved to Ft. Worth. Yeah, we're forced to try to cram everybody we know into two or three days, but I get to see everybody I'm related to in just two or three days. That's kind of cool. I love my family to death, and I'm so excited to get to spend this time with them, sharing in the traditions that we have had for years and years, and getting to know more about traditions I'm just now beginning to take part in because of my marriage. Every minute is treasured, whether it's watching Andrew's little cousin open up a new toy, or playing Scattergories with my aunt from Detroit, I love it.

1. Jesus' Birth
Yeah, this one had to be number one. Not just cause I know the Sunday School answers, but honestly, because this one has made the most significant change in my life. Jesus seriously didn't come to earth just for my Top 9 things. Actually, He wasn't thinking about a single one of those things when He was here. He came to accomplish God's will to save His people. He came so that I could have freedom from my sins, my worries, my complaints.
And the manner in which He came? sooo important. Because the details of His birth weren't so that we'd have a dramatic entertaining story to tell, and not even just to fulfill prophecy, but so that we, everyday humans, could identify with Him. He was born poor and rejected in a town known for losers. Who doesn't identify with being outcast or lonely or called a loser?
We can identify with Him in His birth. And we can identify with Him in His life, because He was faced with every single temptation that we are faced with. And we can identify with Him in His death, because we too can choose to deny ourselves and believe in something bigger than us to carry us through to the other side. And because I have chosen to identify with Him in those areas and accept His salvation, I can also identify with Him in His resurrection, knowing that death doesn't stop me. I have eternal life.

And that my friend is why I'll never actually skip Christmas.

[check out this video]

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