I have been the quintessential Scrooge when it comes to Christmas the last couple of years. I avoided parties, went to bed at 10 on New Year’s Eve, and generally made hell for anyone who crossed me. Being a Christian, I should have been enjoying the season of Advent, that period of waiting before the birth of Christ, reflecting on all the season means. Instead, I found myself becoming discontent with everything from my presents to the complete loneliness in which I found myself during the holiday season. Not a positive way to begin the year, I’ll tell you.
I sort of swore off New Year’s resolutions a few years ago, because I felt they were so fake and hypocritical. Why weren’t we making resolutions throughout the year to make improvements in ourselves, instead of waiting until this one moment, and then forgetting by the time February rolled around? No, I never do anything halfway, so I decided I would rather not do anything at all.
Then my friend Joel, who lives probably the most thoughtful life I know, told me about how he spends the last month of the year. He told me about his times of reflection, of genuine focus and adoration for God. He made resolutions, but only after much thought and prayer about the direction God wanted him to move in the next year. Christmas and the New Year wasn’t just a time of rushing and bustle and candy and presents for him, it was truly important. After squirming for about 10 minutes while he talked about it, I vowed to do the same. It was time to make some changes.
The New Year had already passed, so I decided to implement it this Christmas. I have been reading devotions for Advent, and getting ready to walk calmly into the holiday season with my family. I know I’ll be tested, because it’s my first year doing this, but I’m willing to go through with this to make a change in my heart. When the new year hits, I want to walk into it with a fresh outlook and new direction. After New Year this past year, I decided it was time to make some changes.
And to make sure I don’t revert to Scrooge-like tendencies, I’m reading A Christmas Carol. Couldn’t hurt, right?