With Christmas Day only a few days past, the momentum and excitement that has been building for the last 4 weeks feels suddenly vacant. You may even feel a bit of a let down, especially if you’re unhappy with the way “it all went down” on Christmas Day. I know that in years past when we just dug in without so much as a nod to God for all his blessings, I was left feeling pretty depressed about it later. But even if you’re completely satisfied with how you spent your holiday and at the day’s end you felt full and happy and blessed… you might still feel a bit of sadness at it’s passing.
Even as a kid I was always sad to see it go, sad to see the decorations put away. As an adult, this is one thing I’m trying to avoid. Or if not avoid, at least limit a little. I don’t want to be sad, I don’t want my kids to be sad, because even though the holiday itself has come and gone, the REASON for the holiday is still here! Just like celebrating a loved one’s birthday, or our own, we may feel a small sadness to see an incredibly fun day end or to see our loved ones go home, but the birthday is still real, we’re still one year older!
I want to, I hope I do, make this connection for my children. To that end, when Christmas is over, we keep moving forward. We can keep watching Christmas movies and reading Christmas books. We have activities to keep doing, too. The beginning of the new year coming one week after Christmas is actually quite convenient since the birth of the infant savior marks a new beginning. Looking forward to New Year’s Day at the end of the week, the kids and I can talk about both the things we want to do in the upcoming year, as well as talking about having a new life in Christ, and continuing to further learn about why Jesus came to earth. Our oldest has already made a profession of faith, but her heart can still be cultivated as little seeds of truth are planted in the hearts of the younger two.
Of course we’ll talk about how New Year’s resolutions are just thoughts of things we’d like to do in the New Year, but making a list of resolutions together provides an opportunity to see the plans and desires of your children’s hearts, as well as giving an opportunity to encourage them in Godly and uplifting pursuits.
As you and your family head into the New Year this week, I encourage you not to feel disappointed or let down with the passing of the Christmas holiday, or the passing of the old year as I do. Instead I encourage you to rejoice in the gift of new life through Jesus Christ and in the gift of a new year ahead. I challenge you not to make resolutions that are trendy or fleeting, traditional resultions of this world, but search your heart, seek out that which God desires to change in your heart and commit to begin working on that – as we should often be doing.
Over the next two weeks our Christmas decorations will be put away, our books will be read less and less. Our movies and books stay out all year, though, and we often find ourselves watching and reading them throughout the rest of the year. The Christmas “feeling” may be fleeting and may pass away, but I remind myself of Isaiah 40:8 – “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God will stand forever.” Life will soon return to “normal,” and we’ll easily slip into our daily routines… but Jesus is alive and risen and, we must not forget, coming back again some day when we least expect it. The King is Coming!
May God bless you in the new year ahead!