This year, I have caught myself thinking or saying, ?It doesn?t feel like Christmastime,? a lot. But every time the thought crosses my mind, I begin to wonder what it even means. What is Christmastime supposed to feel like?
It is easy to visualize what Christmas looks like: Christmas trees, twinkling lights and family gatherings.
It smells like cinnamon apples and pine needles.
Christmas tastes like gingerbread, sugar cookies and hot chocolate.
It sounds like jingling bells and Bing Crosby?s voice crooning over the radio.
But seeing, smelling, tasting and hearing Christmas are entirely different senses than feeling Christmas.
In the classic ?A Charlie Brown Christmas,? Charlie Brown says, ?I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming but I?m not happy. I don?t feel the way I?m supposed to feel.?
Sadly, I think many people can identify with Charlie Brown?s dilemma. It is as if, a long time ago, someone declared what Christmas is supposed to feel like. If the holiday season doesn?t meet those unknown standards, then it just simply ?doesn?t feel like Christmas.?
When I think about it, I can come up with several possible reasons why it didn?t feel like Christmas?time the past few weeks.
Being away at college obviously changed a lot of things about my holiday routines. The time that I was home leading up to winter break was largely spent watching high school basketball games (which, being the basketball fanatic that I am, I did not mind at all). But nothing felt like the romanticized image of Christmas seen in Hallmark movies.
The reality is that there was a perfect ?standard-setting? Christmas a long time ago. And it wasn?t very glamorous or Hallmark-like at all. The very first Christmas is the true model for how Christmas should feel.
My favorite Christmas song by far is ?O Holy Night? (especially the version by Josh Groban?he has the voice of an angel). The lyrics of that hymn always seem to mean more to me when I?m thinking the season doesn?t feel like Christmas.
?Oh holy night, the stars are brightly shining. It is the night of our dear Savior?s birth. Long lay the world in sin and error pining, ?til He appeared and the soul felt its worth. A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.?
As the song explains, Christmas is a time to feel hopeful and worthy. No matter how much traditions change or plans get rearranged, the true meaning of the season will stay constant: Jesus left the perfectness of heaven to come to a sinful earth as a human baby so we could be saved.
Just let that sink in for a minute.
I personally change my view of how Christmas should feel from the fabricated, magical one seen in movies and advertisements to the one of feeling worthy of my Savior?s love and hopeful of ?a new and glorious morn.?
When Christmas feels like this, it never has to stop feeling like Christmas. The Christmastime on the calendar is when we get to bring out the tree and listen to Christmas songs nonstop. It is the time for us to see, smell, taste and hear Christmas.
But Jesus didn?t just come to earth for us to feel warm and fuzzy on Christ?mas Day. Instead of having reasons to say, ?It doesn?t feel like Christmas,? in December, we have the reason to say, ?It feels like Christmas,? all year long because of the event we celebrate during this season.
And that, above all of the other beautiful things about Christmas, is why it truly is ?the most wonderful time of the year.?