In the midst of the gift giving, food preperation and social engagements, Christmas Day isn’t always the day of joy it’s supposed to be, says Woman Alive’s deputy editor, Jemimah Wright. So if you are not feeling great today, here is a little reminder that you are not alone.
Hello to whoever is reading this on Christmas Day.
Happy Christmas to you. I see you, and I want to say well done. I know that sounds a little cheesy, but I mean it. Well done for getting through the year. For hoping even in disappointment, for being faithful, and for getting back up again when you messed up, as all of us have done to some extent or other in 2023.
Christmas Day isn’t quite New Year’s Eve, but it is close enough, and brings with it thoughts and reflections from the year past, and hopes and dreams for what your next Christmas might be like.
Are you feeling happy and grateful, or lonely and in need of a reminder that life won’t always be like this?
Maybe you have just woken up, and picked up your phone for some light reading before the busyness of the day starts. Maybe you are reading this midmorning, the first load of presents already opened, and a large Christmas turkey roasting in the oven.
Or have you found a moment in the late afternoon lull, with a full belly, and elderly relatives snoozing in front of the TV? Are you feeling happy and grateful, or lonely and in need of a reminder that life won’t always be like this?
For most of my life I was single at Christmas. Which is fine when you are seven, but not so fun at 37. Christmas Day is often where you see family you haven’t seen for a whole year – cousins who live in Devon, and elderly godparents visiting from Scotland. Inevitably, you will see your life through their eyes, and project what you think they may or may not be thinking.
It is easy to feel a failure because you are still single. Or because you actually haven’t handed in your notice and found a new job like you said you would last year. Or maybe your cousin is pregnant again, and this brings to light the painful truth that you may never be in her position?
Whatever the situation, it can sometimes mean Christmas is a day to be endured instead of celebrated.
Whatever the situation, it can sometimes mean Christmas feels like a day to be endured instead of celebrated. To you, I want to say God sees you (in a much more powerful way than me sseeing you) 2 Chronicles 16:9 (NLT) says: ‘The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.’
He is close by to bring you strength. In the middle of the family dynamics, the over-eating and the midnight mass, he has enough to bring you joy today. Not joy in what you have, or what you receive, but joy in being connected to the Christ-child, who was born to give you life, and at this very moment is interceding at the right hand of the father for you (Romans 8:34 and Hebrews 7:25) .
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So what I recommend you do this Christmas Day is pray with me, ‘Thank you Jesus for coming to earth and for being born so I may live. Please sustain me today, and give me your supernatural joy. I trust you with my future, and I believe, in faith, that you are working all things together for my good. Amen.’
Now go and get some fresh air, if its not too late in the day, and email us your testimony of how God came through for you this Christmas, in the small ways and the big.