Is it just me? Am I simply incredibly small and insecure, or do you sometimes want to throw up after reading certain family Christmas letters too? I mean, isn’t this the time of year when we are supposed to be sending good tidings of great joy? After reading a litany of child prodigy feats and perfect family success stories, I often feel like pond scum. Oh, and by the way, “Merry Christmas.”
Perhaps it is a knee-jerk reaction, but I decided to write this year’s family Christmas letter from slightly below the surface of the pond. Although my whole family is onboard with this idea, it is probably only fair that I begin with me and my “accomplishments” in 2006.
For starters, I gained ten more pounds this year and went up two pant sizes. The bathroom scales hadn’t seen those high digits since my third trimesters. The publishing company I’m currently signed with sold to a publisher that turned me down two years ago and they still don’t want me. My last book way undersold projections and is probably available at your local bookstore on the clearance table.
This year, Steve finally decided we could no longer ignore the financial woes associated with the fact that we both stink at handling money. We got all of our back taxes cleared up, and we are ready to tackle the debt we got into when we couldn’t get enough women to attend our MomTime Getaway events back in 2003. This living on a budget is for the birds.
Tucker fell in love for the first time and, subsequently, experienced his first broken heart. After six months, he is still recovering from the break-up. On a happier note, he finally completed his geometry curriculum. It took him a year-and-a-half, but I’m sure all those theorems will come in handy in the life of a musician.
Haven is no longer part of the student ministry worship team at church. She was replaced this year by a drummer with fancier fills. She received a “D” on her first English Lit essay, complete with notes from the teacher like, “Don’t use such lame sources” and “Did you even read the book?”
We are thrilled to report that after three years, Clancy finally made a friend here in Texas. She played “Juliet” in her homeschool academy’s school play last year, only to earn a bit part in this year’s production. After playing the bass guitar for three years in the junior high worship band, she’s a bit bummed about the fact that she’s not yet good enough to play on the high school worship team.
Donut, our family dog, no longer has the run of the house. She has been relegated to a pen in the kitchen with a doggie door to the backyard. After failing two obedience schools, we resigned ourselves to the fact that she just wasn’t going to get this whole house-training thing down. As soon as we get this whole budget-training thing down, we’ll replace all the carpet in the house.
Now, don’t you feel better? Merry Christmas! In my opinion, this letter more accurately reflects the spirit of Christmas. No, stay with me here a minute, I’m serious. Why did Jesus come to earth in the first place? Because we desperately need a Savior! We are fat, yet so empty. We owe a debt we cannot pay. We are not good enough in our own strength. He came to heal the brokenhearted. He calls us friend. He came to set free those of us who are bound because of the mess we’ve made of our lives.
We aren’t the first ones to celebrate Christmas as primarily the birth of the King of kings, conveniently skipping the whole “Suffering Servant” role of the promised Messiah. Yes, Jesus will reign and rule forever, but the “good news of great joy” that the angel declared to the shepherds on the very first Christmas was that a Savior was born. I need that Messiah this year!
How about you? Have you, like me, been tempted to believe that we will be better witnesses for Jesus in our Christmas letters if we are living victoriously, reigning over our circumstances, and ruling with authority, as befits a child of the King? If that is where you have lived this year, then praise God, you have enjoyed an early taste of heaven.
If, on the other hand, you have lost or failed or died or cried or experienced any other symptom of humanity, then celebrate Christmas with me this year. The birth of the baby Jesus, God in human form. Our High Priest who sympathizes with our weaknesses. The King who wore a crown of thorns. We have eternity to reign with the King of kings. Today I need a Savior. That is the reason He was born. This is why we can celebrate no matter what kind of year we’ve had.
From our archives: 12/24/06
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