(Me and my boy, several Christmases ago now...he's gone, and damn, do I miss him. The creeper in the back is my sister. She looks WAY different.)
I figure I should not be such a boor and actually take the time out to write a Christmas post. Because, why not? I’m loud, inappropriate, and have no energy left to write a Christmas post, so why am I writing one?
Because Christmas is my favorite freaking holiday, that’s why. And it’s my favorite because it’s not about me…it’s about joy. About others. And y’all know how excited I get about helping people.
This Christmas hasn’t exactly felt Christmasey, to be completely honest. It sort of snuck up on me. I was hired in a new job as head news reporter for my little town paper at the end of November, and let me tell you, it’s a lot of responsibility! Learning all the ropes of a new position, including being responsible for an entire paper, leaves little time for Christmas wishes!
(Again, a few years ago...isn't he handsome???)
There is a bit of gloom that hovers around my house this Christmas season. Last year around this time, my grandfather died, and my mom and grandma miss him very much. I can tell by the way they putter around the house, frowns embedded onto their faces. I also haven’t been feeling well...my entire family has been sick this season, and with a compromised immune system, I am no exception.
(My dad cut the tree in half. Yes, it was like this for awhile before we got a new one.)
Not to mention the fact that I really haven’t felt the Christmas spirit…no, not really…ever since that dark Christmas three years ago in 2013 when I struggled to comprehend the suicide of my best friend. It took me over three years (and I’m still not truly there) to understand why I was here under the Christmas tree, surrounded by presents and goodness and love, and she was not.
This year, though, is a little different. I can say that although I haven’t had much time to get into the Christmas spirit I’m…happy again. Happier than I’ve ever been in my entire life. I am so lucky, because I get to do what I love for a living everyday. I get to write. Do you know how special and how much of a blessing that is? I get to compile a newspaper each morning and compose a novel each night. Besides my publishing company, which is steadily growing each day, I have a loving boyfriend. I have a loyal family, a steady home and a full belly that is mine. I don’t have a lot of friends, but the few I do have are trustworthy and true. The medicine, finally, after two years of suffering through illnesses, after two long years of ALWAYS BEING SICK, is finally starting to work. I can now see my diagnosis of Common Variable Immune Deficiency Disorder as merely an irritating job and not an end, the end, to my life. I can look back on the photos that I've taken throughout the years of my life and think, "You know...it was a pretty great ride, but it's not over yet." And you don't know, from a girl who was convinced she'd be cold in the ground long before she reached 21, how much of a blessing that is for me to feel.
The thing is…you can’t kill Christmas. You can’t. Even though there’s sickness and death and sadness around this time of year, despite it all, you can’t take away the joy of December 25 because the joy celebrated on that day is a special joy. I will quote one of my favorite movies, the Prince of Egypt, to see if I can make you understand…
“Pharaoh has the power. He can take away your food, your home, your freedom. He can take away your sons and daughters. With one word, Pharaoh can take away your very lives. But there is one thing he cannot take away from you…your faith.”
Christmas is about one thing, Jesus Christ. If you have joy in him, in God and in life, than no one and nothing, not depression, devastation or even death, can take Christmas from you. It’s something worth fighting for, worth clinging to, even in the worst and most desperate of times.