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Not into the Christmas Spirit  

“I just don't feel in the Christmas spirit.”

Have you ever said that?  I have.

But where did we ever get the idea that we are supposed to feel a specific sentiment?

Is there some Department of Christmas Inspiration that has issued guidelines for what sort of emotions one ought to feel every 25th of December? 

Kidding aside, I “get” feelings.  I can be a downright emotional sort, especially for a guy.  Nor do I think it's wrong to expect that Christmas might induce a unique set of emotions. 

Where I think we run into trouble is when we demand this of our hearts.  In doing so, we are at once both gunman and hostage in our own emotional stick up.  

Expecting to feel a specific emotion is akin to explaining a joke's punch line in hopes of producing laughter.  It just doesn't work. Like the little girl who planted a seed in her garden—and then hovered over it waiting for it to sprout—we are bound to be disappointed.

I suspect that the elusive “Christmas spirit” is likely a byproduct, not an attainable goal.  It’s not a matter of singing enough carols, sending enough cards, attending enough Christmas concerts.

Maybe it's time to cut ourselves some emotional slack.  After all, the Bible never calls us to feel a certain way.  Yet we are called to live a certain way—the Jesus way.

Rather than wait for the Christmas feeling, let's do some Christmas living.

  • Let's be like Mary who “kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
  • Let's be like the shepherds who glorified God “for all the things they had heard and seen.”
  • Let's be like the Infant King, who “took on the form of a servant.”

Who knows?  Maybe in living like the Christ of Christmas, those feelings of Christmas might just sneak up on you!

Merry Christmas!


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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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Jon Gauger Media 2016