Celebrating Christmas when you want to punch someone in the face...
Like when you’ve spent 3 months researching and preparing the perfect Christmas lunch, something on trend, perhaps Jamie Oliveresque, with hip rustic table ornaments made from old jars, a salad with Kale, some socially responsible bon bons, colour coordinated crockery and perfectly placed jugs filled with Christmas cheer and Aunty Vera arrives with her 3 day old potato salad that gives everyone the squirts, presented in the crystal bowl she received as a wedding gift in 1969 and plonks it with pride in the middle of the table sending your kikki K mini wooden peg place holder cards flying into your bowl of raw vegan chocolate fruit balls.
And you want to punch her in the face.
Or perhaps you yell at the kids in the car on the way to lunch because you are tense about seeing your sister who never ceases to offend you and you arrive covered in a thick shell of bitter resentment ready to endure the festivities and she opens the door, ushers you in, gives you the once over, spins you around as she laughs, nudges you and slaps you on the back saying “Look at you! You even have back cleavage.”
And you want to punch her in the face
Or perhaps you are sitting on the couch watching the kids open their presents and you look over at your spouse with sorrow and regret, staggered by the enormous crater of sadness and hurt that has formed between you, and a tear slips down your face as you mourn the loss of what was, and steel yourself for the prospect of what will be.
And you want to punch him in the face.
Or perhaps you wake on Christmas morning with a pit of grief and loss threatening to destroy you, you swing your legs over the bed and gaze at the empty pillow of your loved one who is no more, whose memory brings joy and unbearable pain, and you wonder how you will survive the day, if you want to survive the day.
And you want to punch God in the face.
How do you celebrate Christmas when you are in pain? When you have suffered injustice? When you are hurting?
Well, here's a cheery idea...
Wait… don’t punch me in the face.
I am going to try, just for one day (and then I can go back to normal thank the Lord), to put aside my anger, fear, resentment, grief and hurt and serve. BORING.. maybe, HARD definitely, but I reckon that serving is a good way to celebrate the King who gave up his life for me.
Wash Aunty Vera’s crystal bowl and ask her to bring it again next year. Pay our sisters a genuine compliment, squeeze the hand of our spouses, surrender our pain to God. Just for one day.
Never know, it may be good, and we might keep on doing it.
No promises though, because the face punching option is still quite appealing.