Dear Christmas, It's Not You, It's Me

Dear Christmas,

Hi, how are you? I’m fine. I’m writing to you today with a confession and an apology.

For many years now, I’ve been talking about you behind your back. I’ve been grumbling accusations about you. I’ve blamed you and made you my scapegoat and my patsy.

See, I had it in my head that you were the one to blame for all of my troubles this time of year. The extra 5 pounds? That was all you. The over-commitment? You. The financial woes? Yep, all you. I earnestly believed that all of these issues and more were just part and parcel of the Christmas season and therefore I had no problem laying all of this at your feet.

And, in my defense, I do think I came by it honestly. The finger pointing, that is. It seems to be the order of the day, Christmastime or any time really. It’s what I heard and saw others doing and it made sense so I joined in, too.

But I got tired of it all. The frantic schedule, the fuss, the extra five pounds. I prayed and asked God for a change. I thought he would change you, but instead he changed me by changing my heart.

He showed me that you are nothing but a multiplier or magnifier. You don’t create my issues, you only exaggerate what’s already there. It turns out that my packed schedule, stretched finances, and extra fluff are just inflated symptoms of issues I struggle with year ‘round; people pleasing, lack of planning, and the inability to say “no.”

Poor Christmas. You take the fall for so much. All of those strained family and marital relationships that limp along all year aren’t your fault. The disconnect from others. The loneliness, dissatisfaction, and consumerism. The attempts to escape reality. These aren’t you, they’re us. It’s all on us. We ignore and deny and turn a blind eye for 11 months of the year and then when it all explodes in December we point our fingers at you in disgust.

Sometimes we try and tell ourselves that if we just opted out of you altogether then things would be different, brighter, better. But somehow we never quite get around to cutting you out and I wonder if it’s because we know, deep down at least, that it wasn’t really you all along and that we’d just be stuck with the truth and ourselves. Blaming you is so much easier.

I’ve long resisted the truth, but it turns out you can’t both resist truth and expect things to change. I can only continue to blame you for as long as I want to stay stuck in a rut. Actual change is hard, but that’s where I’m at so I’m taking responsibility for myself and finally letting you off the hook.

I hope you forgive me and I look forward to us being friends. Now that I’m not busy blaming you for all of my issues, I can see and more fully appreciate all that you have to offer. I’m looking at you with new eyes and I’m excited to see where this new relationship takes me.

So, hang in there and stay strong. I know you take a lot of guff this time of year, but I have a feeling the tide is starting to turn. I hope, for our sake more than yours, that that’s true.

Warmest Wishes from Your Friend,



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