Turn up Tuesdays w/Stassi: ‘twas the night before Christmas

So this week of course I’m turnt up about CHRISTMAS.

It’s my 5th Christmas on island and I’ve been sitting here reflecting on a lot. I thought 2 years ago would be my last Christmas away from my family, but then life happened and it brought me back again and again… So this year, as I’ve been splitting time between living on the mainland and on island with visiting home, I’ve been able to view Holiday preparations in different places.

But I’ve been trying to figure out what does Christmas look like and How do I know it’s Christmas? I mean yeah I know all of the biblical stuff. I believe in the Reason for the Season. But I’ve been thinking more about what makes this season FEEL so different than others?

I’ve realized that for the last 5 years I’ve kinda felt like I’ve been stuck in A Christmas Carol not able to grasp a Christmas present because I’ve been so wrapped into thoughts of Christmas past and hoping to jump directly into Christmas future. In my neglect to be present in my present, I’ve sorta began my own Christmas traditions without even fully knowing. But what are these traditions? And how do they play a part of becoming a real life reflection of what Christmas looks like to me?

I was feeling a little down because this season has become so commercialized just like every other holiday on the American calendar. I was starting to believe it was just about making a list and hoping that you got everything on the list. Hoping that people would be generous to you. As I peruse social media, I do see traces of generosity and caring for others as many people are using this season to give generously to others. But I also felt like it has become too much about Christmas trees, lights & decorations around the house. As I looked around island and saw the darkness of the night, sprinkled with festive holiday lights here and there I began to think I was losing the Christmas Spirit BUT I had to check myself hard because I KNOW this season isn’t about that at all.

And then I ran across this song: What does Christmas look like? by Red Sovine.

This part spoke to my heart:

The laughter sounds like happiness

That Jesus brought to the earth,

And the music sounds like angels singing of his birth.

The joy I feel I inside me

Must be the love he gave.

Daddy, am I right? Does Christmas look that way?”

It hit me. That “Christmas spirit” feeling that I was searching for comes about from being with family and friends as well as giving back to other people. For me, Christmas is all of this wrapped together into this complex season of loving on and simply enjoying one another. My Christmas looks like whatever place I’m in with whomever I love throughout this entire time and not just on the one day on the calendar. My Christmas has a few different looks across different states and territories…and I’m ok with that.

What does Christmas look like for you?

–Stassi

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